PLECTRUM LIVE EDITION: Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

Doors: 7pm, screening 7.30

Tickets: £8.50/£7.50 concessions

Advance tickets and credit card payments (please note: cash only on the door) from:

Full price (£8.50) tickets: Concessionary (£7.50) ticket:

Please Note: Proof of entitlement to concessionary tickets purchased will be required when arriving at venue.


Plectrum – The Cultural Pick preview screening: Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo (USA, 2009, documentary, 90 min) Followed by Q&A with director Jessica Oreck

“a doorway to something huge and eternal” -Time Out New York “remarkable... quietly spellbinding” - Variety "truly joyous moments to behold" - Los Angeles Times “remarkable... stunningly gorgeous” - The Onion

Sold live in vending machines and department stores, plastic replicas included as prizes in the equivalent of a McDonald’s Happy Meal and the subject of the No. 1 videogame, MushiKing, from the smallest backyard to the top of Mt. Fuji, insects inspire an enthusiasm in Japan seen nowhere else in this world. Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo discovers why Japan developed this rich and enriching social relationship with insects.

Like a detective story, the film untangles the web of influences behind Japan’s captivation with insects. It opens in modern-day Tokyo where a single beetle recently sold for $90,000 then slips back to the early 1800s, to the first cricket-selling business and the development of haiku and other forms of insect literature and art.

Along the way the film takes side trips to Zen temples and Buddhist Shrines, nature preserves and art museums in its quest for the inspirations that moved Japan into this fascination while other cultures hurtled off towards an almost universal and profound fear of insects.

Interspersed with the philosophies of one of Japan’s best-selling authors and anatomists, Dr. Takeshi Yoro, and laced with poetry and art from Japan’s history, this film becomes about much more than insects. It quietly challenges the viewer to observe the world from an uncommon perspective that will shift the familiar to the fantastic and just might change not only the way we think about bugs, but the way we think about life.

Plectrum - The Cultural Pick, edited by Guy Sangster Adams, is a multi-format arts magazine with a bi-monthly print edition, and regular Plectrum Live Edition events, which mix spoken word, author readings, live music, screenings, fashion shows, art exhibitions, and more. Whilst the website is home to the Plectrum Broadcast Player and Plectrum Webzine.