Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Why Am I Doing This?

Chopstick Cinema

Chopstick Cinema

Tony Chang and Lester Niles are best friends. Tony is a Chinese-American actor, and Lester is an African-American comedian, neither of whom has gotten that "big break". Together they tirelessly go about the business of auditions and open-mic nights, all the while working full-time to pay the bills, navigating their way through awkward family situations, and suffering the slings and arrows of romantic relationships.

It’s a storyline that has been told as far back as the nineteenth century with Puccini’s La Bohème, but what makes Why Am I Doing This? so fresh and original, is the humor, candor, and artistry with which it is crafted. The characters are genuine, the comedy is wry and subtle, and the performances so unselfconscious and unaffected that it’s almost like being there.

What a splendid conclusion to two fascinating weeks of independent Asian film!

Today is the closing day of the San Jose Cinequest 2009 Film Festival. As always, I am grateful for having had the opportunity to watch and review all these rare and wonderful films. For further information on the films and the festival, visit the Cinequest website.

For questions or comments send e-mail to cheiter at thingsasian dot com