First Look: Sam Rockwell in Clark Gregg's Choke
Now don't get confused here. Author Chuck Palahniuk, who wrote Fight Club (yes, that Fight Club), also wrote another novel titled Choke, which indie filmmaker Clark Gregg adapted and directed. The film was just announced as one of the premieres at Sundance in January. It stars Sam Rockwell as Victor Mancini, a sex addicted con man who makes his living by staging his own choking episodes in expensive restaurants and playing upon the sympathies of those who "save" him. Thanks to Twitch we've got the very first look at Sam Rockwell and his co-star Brad William Henke in Choke.
Here's how Amazon.com describes the novel: Victor Mancini is a ruthless con artist. Victor Mancini is a med-school dropout who's taken a job playing an Irish indentured servant in a colonial-era theme park in order to help care for his Alzheimer's-afflicted mother. Victor Mancini is a sex addict. Victor Mancini is a direct descendant of Jesus Christ. All of these statements about the protagonist of Choke are more or less true. Welcome, once again, to the world of Chuck Palahniuk.
"Art never comes from happiness." So says Mancini's mother only a few pages into the novel. Given her own dicey and melodramatic style of parenting, you would think that her son's life would be chock-full of nothing but art. Alas, that's not the case. In the fine tradition of Oedipus, Stephen Dedalus, and Anthony Soprano, Victor hasn't quite reconciled his issues with his mother. Instead, he's trawling sexual-addiction recovery meetings for dates and purposely choking in restaurants for a few moments of attention. Longing for a hug, in other words, he's settling for the Heimlich.
I'm pretty much looking forward to this almost more than any other movie at Sundance. Sam Rockwell continues to impress me, both in Assassination of Jesse James this year and with one of my favorite performances in Snow Angels from Sundance last year. This will definitely be one to keep an eye on.
Choke is directed by actor-turned-director Clark Gregg, as his first time feature which he also co-stars in. The film will debut at Sundance and doesn't currently have a distributor, but I'm sure it will be snapped up fairly quickly.