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There was a time where the most famous Filipino film export was (and still may be) a 2’9″ James Bond-spoof action star by the name of Weng Weng. His films were international hits for the Philippines in the late 70s/early 80s, when their film industry was the second largest in the worlds, in terms of sheer cinematic output. Then, Weng Weng suddenly disappeared. By the 90s, anyone who even heard of Weng Weng only knew him as a sort of mythical figure of Filipino B-grade cinema. Who was he? Where did he come from? What happened to him?
It took a cinephile named Andrew Leavold to embark on a seven-year-long odyssey in the Philippines to try to find the answer to those questions. He got more than he bargained for. What started as a simple cult film curiosity turned into a look at the Filipino film industry, culture at large, and finally the humanity behind what most people consider worthless trash. His wonderful story is now a documentary called THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG, and we are sponsoring its US and Canada tour this month, starting in San Diego this Saturday, 12/6 at Ken Cinema!
Andrew Leavold joins me to discuss:
Discovering cult film and Weng Weng.
How he made it to Manila.
Meeting the family and co-workers of Weng Weng.
How a cartoonish fascination became something far grander.
The importance of low brow cinema.
This is one of my favorite conversations!The documentary is brilliant–get San Diego Tickets WITH director in attendance here!
Other North America Dates!
Saturday 6th December – SAN DIEGO, Ken Cinema, 11.30pm (https://www.facebook.com/events/720267454732494/)
Tuesday 9th December – PHOENIX, FilmBar, 7.30pm (http://www.thefilmbarphx.com/event/707913-search-for-weng-weng-director-phoenix/)
Thursday 11th December – SAN FRANCISCO, opening film of FACINE/21: 21st Annual Filipino International Cina Festival at the Roxie, 7pm (http://www.roxie.com/ai1ec_event/facine21/?instance_id=5544 – tickets here: http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=5466165)
Friday 12th December – CHICAGO, Chicago Filmmakers, 8pm, presented by the Chicago Cinema Society (https://www.facebook.com/events/1491593047760071/)
Saturday 13th December – NEW YORK, midnight session at the Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (http://www.nitehawkcinema.com/movie/search-for-weng-weng/)
Sunday 14th December – YONKERS, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 4pm (http://drafthouse.com/movies/the-search-for-weng-weng/nyc_area)
Monday 15th December – PHILADELPHIA, Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), 8pm (http://www.philamoca.org/)
Wednesday 17th December – DETROIT, Cinema Detroit, 7.30pm (http://cinemadetroit.com/2014/11/25/search-for-weng-weng/)
Thursday 18th December – TORONTO, The Royal, 9.15pm, with an instore appearance at Eyesore Cinema from 6-8pm (http://www.theroyal.to/films/the-search-weng-weng/)
Friday 19th December – OTTOWA, Mayfair Theatre, time to be confirmed (http://mayfairtheatre.ca/movies/Search-For-Weng-Weng-The/)
Sunday 21st December – HOLLYWOOD, Cinefamily @ The Silent Movie Theatre, 4.30pm (http://www.cinefamily.org/films/special-events-december-2014/#the-search-for-weng-weng-filmmaker-in-person)
Horrible Imaginings Podcast opening music by Eric Elick Music! “Weng Weng Rap” by The Chuds.