New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsNew Television

Spitting Glass

Copyright Date:

Copyright Holder:
Ed Bowes

Bowes, Ed

See the record for "New Television, Episode 613 (1989)" for descriptions of videos containing this work.

Broadcast as Episode 613 of the 1990 season of "New Television."

See the record for "New Television, Episode 613 (1989)" for descriptions of videos containing this work.

"An adult tale of psychological disintegration presented from the point of view of a single, professional woman living in New York, ´Spitting Glass' is told in a deadpan manner, with some humor and considerable irony. The program powerfully conveys an experience of mental confusion and frustration rooted in social contradictions. Soon her own thoughts are tormenting her as conflict and anger surface in some disturbing and antisocial behavior. Conversations and confrontations spill over into one another; voices become distorted and insights emerge in fragments as the protagonist moves through a series of unsatisfying encounters in her daily routine. She'd like to ´find a new approach' in the midst of this personal moral crisis, but can't decide if she should go out West or kill her father." -- WGBH press release

The main character, Clara, is an academic whose work consists of the cultural analysis of decorative arts. When a publishing committee rejects her dissertation, it sets Clara off. Fueled by troubling memories of possible sexual abuse by her father and her growing dissatisfaction with her relationship with Tony, Clara begins to come undone. She lashes out at her coworker Eunice, leaves work, drinks in her car, takes photographs in a greeting-card shop and finally holes up in her apartment. In her friendship with Ellie, Clara is able to address her concerns and to find rewarding companionship. But when Clara learns that Tony has slept with Eunice, she becomes disgusted and lashes out at him and his friends at a formal dinner party. Eventually, Clara makes plans to go to the desert for a few days with Ellie. It is unclear whether the trip is to serve as a vacation for the two or an elaborate murder of Clara's father. Narrated entirely by the eloquent and frustrated Clara, "Spitting Glass" is at times straightforward and linear and at other times dreamlike and subjective. It is approximately 54 minutes long.

The musical score is by Brooks Williams.

Bowes, Ed (Director, Director of Photography)
Walworth, Jack (Associate Director)
Tambini, Catherine (Assistant Director)

Taubin, Amy

Gross, Larry (Producer in Association)
Channel Four Television, London (Producer in Association)
New Television (Producer in Association)

Bowes, Ed
Williams, Brooks (Sound Editor)
Abramson, Ross (Online Editor)

Art Matters, Inc.
National Endowment for the Arts
New York State Council on the Arts
Jerome Foundation

Hall, Rosy (Clara)
McLaughlin, Sheila
Rumann, Edward
Mason, Bob
Rutledge-Parisi, Allison
Griffin, Mary
Grossman, Howard
Shatly, Omar
Elfers, Mike
Miller, Nicole
Jurjevics, Juris
Ruas, Charles

Interpersonal relations


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