The Search For Weng Weng
Director: Andrew Leavold
The Mayfair Theatre, December 19
For those unable to attend the Philippines’ 1981 Film Festival, the film craze that swept that party (and later Cannes) was all about a three foot James Bond. Actually 2’ 9” – according to Guinness Book of World Records. The name is Weng, Weng Weng, and the movie was For Y’ur Height Only.
As Asian b-movie rip-offs, primed for midnight movie cult status, this one was simply fantabulously awesome. Who could resist a karate-kicking, womanizing, Interpol spy who brought everyone down to a new level?
Fast forward to the VHS generation and the rediscovery of agent 00 by Australian filmmaker Andrew Leavold. With little information on the long forgotten action hero, and as any documentarian worth his salt, Leavold takes camera in hand and travels to Manila. Soon he is cavorting with locals who were part of the movie, er, industry, and the mystery cloud starts thickens. The Search for Weng Weng reveals a bevy of characters who dabbled in a series of shoestring operations. The scene claimed only Hollywood as a movie making superior back in the day, though very few made any money, including superstar Weng Weng (not his real name!).
Leavold’s seven year quest culminates with a surreal audience with Imelda Marcos (who, surprisingly is still very much alive), that includes a peek at a very ghostly Ferdinand (who is not, but looks like he awaits resurrection, Snow White style).
Followed by a special screening of For Y’ur Height Only. Get your film freak on.
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