Melissa Pierson
May 16, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Chappaqua

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
performer
William S. Burroughs, Conrad Rooks, Jean-Louis Barrault, Robert Frank, Ravi Shankar

We gave it a B-

Up from the peculiarly musty basement where former avant-garde movies grow their own forms of mold, what is billed as ”the rediscovered underground classic of the ’60s” returns. The creative output of director Conrad Rooks and a grab bag of fabled talent, including cinematographer Robert Frank and musician Ravi Shankar, Chappaqua is a hallucinatory ”diary” of a stay in a Swiss clinic for addicts. Snatches of brilliant photography, far-flung travelogue, and irresistible forces such as Ornette Coleman and William S. Burroughs are surrounded by a glop of ’60s nonsense. Though the film is essentially a failure, time has turned it into a kind of success: a reminder of the days when making a film meant risking it all. B-

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