Cinema: The Self as Hero

Most people, when they feel autobiographical urges, sit down and commit their story to the typewriter, or just talk to the wife, a bartender or a psychiatrist. Not Conrad Rooks. He decided to make a movie about himself. The result is Chappaqua, named after the Westchester County commuters' village where Rooks spent what he considers the only happy years of his youth (from 8 to 13). The film is an 82-minute phantasmagoric apologia pro sua dolce vita in which the ex-junkie-alcoholic takes himself into and then out of the world of addiction and related vice.

Aided by the fluent camerawork of Robert...

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