WGBH Openvault

Frames of Reference; Bruce and Babe: Henry Phipps Goes Skiing


Original MAPC # A2-05479

License Clip

More material may be available from this program at the WGBH Archives. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

This program has not been digitized yet or cannot be made available on Open Vault.

Frames of Reference
Bruce and Babe: Henry Phipps Goes Skiing
Series Description

“Frames of Reference” was a series that began circa 1978. Half-hour shows were produced to showcase commissioned and already created works. It was around this time that the focus of the Workshop shifted, to concentrate more heavily on creating works for broadcast. During its time, “Frames of Reference” was the focus of the Workshop’s national arts programming effort. In an attempt to raise funds and foster collaboration, Workshop personnel approached and visited several public television stations nationwide. The major collaborative relationship was with WGBH’s “sister station,” WGBY (Springfield, Mass.). Among the featured artists were Meredith Monk, Remy Charlip, Trisha Brown, and Peter Campus. In 1981, “Frames of Reference” was packaged and offered to PBS, during what is known as “flex time” and was broadcast by WGBH, WNET (New York), and WGBY (Springfield, Mass.). “Frames of Reference” ended as a series ca. 1983, because of a lack of funding. Series release date: 1978

Program Description

In “Bruce and Babe,” New England filmmaker Bruce Cronin and the star of several of his works, Babe Sargent, travel to Warner, N.H. to screen one Cronin's films. Cronin assumes the role of narrator, describing his career and showing highlights from several works. In “The Game,” an early black-and-white film, young boys playing dodge-ball are interrupted by still images of soldiers. In “16 Summit Street,” a woman comes face to face with a man’s bloody visage in this send-up of the horror film genre. “The Wild Goose” features Babe as a feisty nursing-home inmate, teasing his fellow inmates, who nonetheless rejoice at his attempt to escape, and cheer him on as he is pursued by nurses. In “Henry Phipps Goes Skiing,” Babe plays a worker in a show factory who wins a three-day skiing trip to nearby Snowflake Lodge. The film follows his antics and pratfalls as he tumbles through ski slopes and cocktail parties. While Cronin and Sargent take a humorous approach to the presentation of these works, their audiences’ appreciation of them is fully evidenced by the response to their screening in Warner. “Bruce and Babe,” written and directed by Cronin, takes the form of an autobiographical documentary.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Film and Television
Chicago: “Frames of Reference; Bruce and Babe: Henry Phipps Goes Skiing,” 03/23/1979, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed November 13, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_8E94D2B139F7470FB2EC1D6B2250B408.
MLA: “Frames of Reference; Bruce and Babe: Henry Phipps Goes Skiing.” 03/23/1979. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. November 13, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_8E94D2B139F7470FB2EC1D6B2250B408>.
APA: Frames of Reference; Bruce and Babe: Henry Phipps Goes Skiing. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_8E94D2B139F7470FB2EC1D6B2250B408
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.