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Sunday, March 02, 2014

Chappaqua (1966)

Chappaqua is a 1966 cult film written and directed by Conrad Rooks. The film is based on Rooks' experiences with drug addiction and includes cameo appearances by William S. Burroughs, Swami Satchidananda, Allen Ginsberg, Moondog, Ornette Coleman, The Fugs, and Ravi Shankar. Rooks had commissioned Coleman to compose music for the film, but his score, which has become known as the Chappaqua Suite was not used. Ravi Shankar then composed a score.

The film briefly depicts Chappaqua, New York, a hamlet in Westchester County, in a few minutes of wintry panoramas. In the film, the hamlet is an overt symbol of drug-free suburban childhood innocence. It also serves as one of the film's many nods to Native American culture. The word "chappaqua" derives from the Wappinger (a nation of the Algonquian peoples) word for "laurel swamp."

The film is based on Rooks' experiences with drug addiction and includes cameo appearances by William S. Burroughs, Swami Satchidananda, Allen Ginsberg, Moondog, Ornette Coleman, The Fugs, and Ravi Shankar. Rooks had commissioned Coleman to compose music for the film, but his score, which has become known as the Chappaqua Suite was not used. Ravi Shankar then composed a score.

 Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg sing for their supper in Chappaqua (1966)

The film briefly depicts Chappaqua, New York, a hamlet in Westchester County, in a few minutes of wintry panoramas. In the film, the hamlet is an overt symbol of drug-free suburban childhood innocence. It also serves as one of the film's many nods to Native American culture. The word "chappaqua" derives from the Wappinger (a nation of the Algonquian peoples) word for "laurel swamp."

Cast: Jean-Louis Barrault as Dr. Benoit Conrad Rooks as Russel Harwick William S. Burroughs as Opium Jones Allen Ginsberg as Messie Ravi Shankar as Dieu du Soleil Paula Pritchett as Water Woman Ornette Coleman as Peyote Eater Swami Satchidananda as The Guru Moondog as The Prophet Ed Sanders as The Fugs Rita Renoir Hervé Villechaize

Directed by Conrad Rooks
Produced by Conrad Rooks
Written by Conrad Rooks
Starring Jean-Louis Barrault
William S. Burroughs
Allen Ginsberg
Swami Satchidananda
Ornette Coleman
Music by Ravi Shankar
Cinematography Étienne Becker
Robert Frank
Eugen Schüfftan
Editing by Kenout Peltier
Studio Minotaur
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates November 5, 1967 (USA)
Running time 82 mins
Country USA
Language English

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