Dir: Conrad Rooks, 1966.
USA. 82 min.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 10 – 10:00 PM
SUNDAY, MAY 12 – 7:30 PM
FRIDAY, MAY 24 – 7:30 PM
Two years before Easy Rider, Conrad Rooks created a meditation on addiction and self discovery in CHAPPAQUA, a formally restless time capsule which captures the entropic soul searching and self destruction which hung like a long shadow over the 1960s counter culture.
Conrad Rooks’ short filmography (Chappaqua and his 1972 adaptation of Hesse’s Siddhartha) is characterized by the dual journey, without and within. In Chappaqua Rooks plays Russel Harwick, a globetrotting( Chappaqua was filmed in 48 of the United States, France, Mexico England and India), hopelessly addicted young man who checks into a Paris clinic in order to undergo a “sleep cure”. What follows is a hallucinatory journey in the form of a richly textured film poem which reflects Rooks’ own battle with addiction and spiritual awakening.
Rooks’ film is bombastic and strung out, wild and somber. Chappaqua is a mind laid bare, a chronicle of addiction, and an adventurous film experience. In Chappaqua we enter a maze of experimental film techniques and raw improvisation that invites us into the fury of the present, the pleasure and pain of the past, and, after passing through the fire, the dream of a better future.
Chappaqua is the Cannonball Run of the 1960s’ counterculture, featuring such literary, musical, and beat luminaries as William S. Burroughs, Ravi Shankar (who also contributed the film’s unique and powerful score), The Fugs, Ornette Coleman, Moondog, Allen Ginsberg, and Herve Villechaize.