Animation Now – The Incredibly Strange Film Show – tape 557

A black and white film ends just as the recording starts. I don’t recognise it. It might be part of the Screen Sleuths season, as there’s a trail for Charlie Chan at the Circus tomorrow. Funny, you don’t see Charlie Chan much any more. Surely it’s time for a modern reboot.

Talking of things you don’t see any more, there’s a trailer for Cool It – Phil Cool’s ‘impressions’ programme where he does that face of his and they turn the lights green.

Then, it’s Animation Week on DEF II with Magenta De Vine talking to animator Alison De Vere. On this programme is:

  • Cafe Bar – Alsion De Vere
  • The Tempest – George Dunning
  • Felix Woos Whoopee – Pat Sullivan
  • Foxhunt – Anthony Cross and Hector Hoppin
  • Musical Poster – Len Lye
  • Jeux Des Anges – Walerian Borowczyk
  • The Cabinet of Jan Swankmajer – The Brothers Quay
  • Sledgehammer – Stephen Johnson

But leading off the show is part 3 of Yellow Submarine.

This programme has the annoying habit of squashing up the animation when it starts so it can run some pointless trivia underneath. This is quite insulting to the filmmakers, I think.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 8th September 1988 – 18:40

Before the next programme, some more RKO comedy. Then a look at later programmes.

On the next Animation Week programme, Magenta’s guest is pop video director Steve Barron. The films on show are:

  • Take On Me – Steve Barron
  • Criminal Tango – Solweig von Kleist
  • Underground (David Bowie) – Solwieg von Kleist. Here’s Solweig’s drawings for this video.
  • The Grandmother – David Lynch (yes, that David Lynch)
  • The Wizard of Speed and Time – Mike Jittlov
  • Boomtown – Bill Plympton
  • Red’s Dream – John Lasseter
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit – Robert Zemeckis
  • Street of Crocodiles – The Brothers Quay
  • Going Underground – Solweig von Kleist
  • Dimensions of Dialogue – Jan Svankmajer

When they come to talk about John Lasseter, she asks Barron what he knows about him, and Barron says ‘I don’t know a lot’ – this was long before Toy Story, of course.

The last item in the programme is a joint winner of the Frst Bite competition, Dominic Sykes, whose film Berserk is about ‘the evils of television and its effects on children in particular. It’s a montage of images, some violent, hopefully to scare people into thinking twice, perhaps.’

What a pompous prig.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 9th September 1988 – 19:00

After the programme, there’s a trail for next week on DEF II where they do that really annoying thing they did in the 80s or squashing up the picture to fit in their graphics, leading to horribly stretched images.

DEF II trails

There’s a quick plug for The Listener, and a trail for Sport Aid.

Then, The Friday Report has a programme on how we can build a million new houses without ruining the countryside.

There’s about five minutes of this programme, before the recording switches to a screaming Tom Hanks.

Screaming Tom Hanks

It’s a trailer for a TV movie called Mazes and Monsters which, if I recall it correctly, was illustrating the dangers of games like Dungeons and Dragons. I bet Dominic Sykes liked it.

Update: There’s an interesting New York Times article and video about the moral panic around D&D, including a reference to the Tom Hanks film.

There’s also a Prince-heavy trailer for Wired, the C4 pop show.

Then, an episode of The Incredibly Strange Film Show on Russ Meyer.

Russ Meyer

There’s unsurprising contributions from the brilliant Roger Ebert, who was a close friend of Meyer’s and wrote the screenplay for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

Roger Ebert

After this, there’s a trailer for the new series of The Last Resort with an Olympic theme.

There’s also a trailer for American Football

Then, the start of a special edition of Wired, via satellite, with a live concert by Prince.


  • Swissair
  • No 7
  • Daily Mirror
  • Honeywell Bull
  • Miller Lite
  • Holiday Ireland
  • Federal Express
  • The Daily Telegraph – a Hitchhiker rip-off

  • Amplex
  • Prudential Holborn
  • Buf Puf
  • Exchange & Mart
  • Travelcard


  1. I’ve been looking for Dimensions of Dialog since DEF II first aired it, but had no idea what it was called. Thanks to the Internet (and your post in particular), I found it again after more than 20 years. THANK YOU.

  2. Hi
    Great site – many thanks!
    I saw a rip-off of Svankmajer’s “Dimensions of Dialog” animation used for a UK TV advert in the 1980s, with a soundtrack song (?called “Opposites Attract”) by a band that sounded like INXS . Can’t remember the product that was being advertised (?? Carlsberg lager), so it obviously didn’t work as an advert (!); but great animation though. Have looked for it since without success. Does this ring any bells with anyone? If so please post details or even a video clip. Many thanks, Dave (UK)

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