Choking Man is an intense blend of psychological drama and magical realism that encapsulates the contemporary immigrant experience in America. Jorge is a morbidly shy Ecuadorian dishwasher toiling away in a shabby Jamaica, Queens, New York diner run by Rick. He works all day long in the shadow of the ever-present Heimlich Maneuver instruction poster which hangs in the diner kitchen. From his solitary kitchen corner, Jorge gropes mutely for a bond with Amy, the newly hired Chinese waitress and even though she tries to reciprocate, the gulf that separates them may be too large. On the job he is continually tormented by his coworker Jerry and at home in his Harlem boarding, under the psychological control of his domineering 'roomate,' he battles his inner demons. Set in the vicinity of JFK airport, the most culturally diverse neighborhood in the world, Choking Man captures the feeling of claustrophobia and almost literal asphyxiation newcomers to America experience as they struggle to ...Written by
Lyrics by Oliver Barron and Octavio Gomez Berrios
Performed by Octavio Gomez Berrios See more »
I saw this film at Tribeca...
I really think this film is some kid of masterwork. Really I do. The Festival described the film in its catalog much better than I can: "If you think you know Steve Barron from his music videos ("Billie Jean," "Money for Nothing," "Take on Me"), think again. The director best known for his seminal work on MTV in the early 1980's (not to mention the glitzy 1984 feature Electric Dreams) brings an entirely new aesthetic to bear on Choking Man, an intense blend of psychological drama and magical realism that speaks eloquently of the contemporary immigrant experience in America. Jorgé (Octavio Gómez Berríos) is a morbidly shy Ecuadorian dishwasher toiling away in a shabby Jamaica, Queens diner run by Rick (a Greek-accented Mandy Patinkin). Tormented on the job by his coworker Jerry (Aaron Paul) and controlled at home by his older, domineering male "roommate," Jorgé gropes mutely for a bond with Amy, a newly hired Korean waitress (Mail Order Wife's Eugenia Yuan). She tries to reciprocate, but the gulf that separates them may be too large. Interstitial fantasy sequences featuring an animated rabbit gives us the impressions of life from Jorgé's point of view, while a poster instructing diner patrons on how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver looms over and ultimately catalyzes the action. Shot over 18 days in Harlem and at Queens' Olympia Diner, Choking Man effectively portrays the polyglot milieu of the area around John F. Kennedy Airport, capturing the feeling of claustrophobia and almost literal asphyxiation newcomers to America experience as they struggle to find a place and a purpose in this strange land.
I would say this is a must see film.
21 of 26 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this