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Wife (Time Piece)

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Enidcafritz
PERFORMER Enid Cafritz
DEBUT 1965

The Wife is the spouse of the Man in Time Piece. Although the man is clearly the protagonist, the wife is the most important secondary character, with significant screentime in multiple sequences (both quick-shots and longer scenes), and the only other part to be identified, and the performer credited, in the closing titles.

The wife is generally a blank-faced figure of domesticity, content to wait for her husband and rock gently; this persona is occasionally tweaked. She is first seen as the man swings, Tarzan-style, homeward, cutting the vine, in a comic symbol of castration.

Like the man, but to a lesser extent, the wife's clothes and persona change throughout the short. After chastely kissing her husband and preparing dinner, the pair then shift through different period garbs. Later, as the man gazes at the stripper, footage of the wife is intercut, as she unromantically and drably drops her garments, which include a pad-lock covered corset-device.

Evidently an art lover, the wife has a copy of Whistler's Mother in the home, and during the nightclub scene, she appears as Whistler's Mother, rocking back and forth and gazing with a hint of reproach. Later, while the man takes brush to wildlife, the wife creates a rapid reproduction of Mona Lisa. In her final appearance in the film, as the airborne man is overcome by pursuers, she shoots off a fire extinguisher, releasing a phallic stream of foam and smoke, and utterly failing to put out any conflagration.

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