New York Post
January 17, 2002

Note: Editors asked for 10 inches on this article but cut it down to 5 because of space limitations. ("How do you think that makes me feel as a man?" I asked them when I got back to New York.) This is the full, uncut version.

Indie film sizes up what men want


It's not the length of your movie, it's what you do with it.

That's what filmmaker Gene Rhee and actor Roger Fan are discovering with their racy short film, "The Quest for Length," one of the surprise hits at the Sundance Film Festival this week.

At just 17 minutes, this docu-comedy about the obsession with penis size is measuring up well against the full-length features in generating enthusiasm — and shock — among festival crowds.

The movie stars Roger Fan (who also stars in "Better Luck Tomorrow" at the festival) as a handsome young man with a problem — he's worried that his package is too puny. So he goes on a hilarious romp from psychologist to urologist to Chinese acupuncturist to African medicine man in search of an effective treatment.

One lesson from the film is that there's only one method that really works — penile enlargement surgery. Another lesson is that you don't want it.

That's because the filmmakers were invited to observe the whole five-hour procedure, of which a cringingly long 60 seconds made it into the final, so to speak, cut.

Interestingly, this is where the audience at each screening always seems to divide by gender — women tend to stare at the gruesome work with morbid fascination while grown men hide their heads in their hands and refuse to look.

This surprise Sundance hit has made the filmmakers instant celebrities in the festival's home town of Park City, Utah.

"I can't even get on a bus now," Fan reports.

Rhee adds: "We walk into parties — people say, 'Hey, he's the penis guy, he's the penis guy!' "

So did the film settle any size-related anxieties for the audience? Not for B.J. Stewart of Edinburgh, Scotland, who said he and his girlfriend had never discussed the subject.

"We haven't done before," said Stewart after a screening on Tuesday, "but I'm sure we will tonight."