Moving Pictures – The Simpsons – tape 791

Here’s one of the odder tapes I’ve come across. First, it has about three beginnings. First, a Channel 4 logo that’s a bit noisy as it’s right at the start of a recording.

Then a BBC 2 logo, before an episode of Arena.

Then, this recording seems to stop as soon as it started, as there’s a bit of erase head noise, and underneath, yet another BBC 2 logo.

This precedes the main meat of this tape, Moving Pictures. But, unusually for me, this isn’t whole episodes of the show. It’s individual pieces from various episodes. And judging by the dating of some of these, either some were repeats, or these were recorded onto other tapes, and dubbed onto this one. It’s hard to tell.

First, a piece about transformations in movies, featuring interviews with some of my favourite people in movies, including Rick Baker, Joe Dante, Rob Bottin and David Cronenberg.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 25th January 1992 – 21:00

The next segment looks at the work of sound designer Skip Lievsay. Here he demonstrates how he recorded the annoying sound of a mosquito by taking speakers playing a mosquito, and moving it closer and further from the microphone.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 1st February 1992 – 21:00

Next, director Kathryn Bigelow discusses Point Break and how the bank robbery sequence and the foot chase were shot.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 23rd November 1991 – 21:00

Next, there’s a piece about movies featuring characters with Amnesia.

Dead Again is represented by producer Lindsay Doran.

Also by writer Scott Frank.

Shattered, the Tom Berenger amnesia movie, by directory Wolfgang Petersen.

Writer Richard Lagravenese talks about The Fisher King.

As does producer Lynda Obst.

And director Terry Gilliam

Total Recall is discussed, but the final current release discussed here is Regarding Henry, by its writer, Jeffrey Abrams. Yes, it’s a very young JJ Abrams, who’s 25 here but looks about 17.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 30th November 1991 – 21:35

The next segment looks at the rather troubled making of The Addams Family. Screenwriter Paul Rudnick tells a story. “Barry [Sonnenfeld, the director] also, in one meeting I was in, took a couch apart and used all the cushions together to build a little fort, and crawled into it. At one point I was having a meeting with a pile of cushions but… it was fine.”

There’s a segment from the same episode about producer Samuel Z Arkoff, producer of some classic B Movies.

With contributions from John Milius. I read recently that John Goodman’s character in The Big Lebowski was based on Milius, and I totally believe it.

The other master of low budget movies, Roger Corman, worked for Arkoff.

A reminder that the star of I was a Teenage Werewolf was Michael Landon, later the star of Little House on the Prairie.

It’s lovely to see an interview with Vincent Price, star of many of Roger Corman’s AIP movies.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 7th December 1991 – 20:50

The next segment sees blog favourite Alex Cox go to Dallas to talk about JFK, the assassination and conspiracy theories.

There’s also a profile of JFK’s producer, Arnon Milchan.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 18th January 1992 – 21:05

After this compilation of bits, there’s a couple of episodes of The Simpsons from Sky One.

First, Marge Gets a Job in which Marge gets a job at the power plant, and Mr Burns hits on her.

It contains a pastiche of the song and dance number from Citizen Kane.

Featuring a guest appearance from Tom Jones, being held prisoner to perform for Marge.

Then, Bart vs. Thanksgiving.

“If you start building a balloon for every flash in the pan cartoon character, you’ll turn the parade into a farce.”

After this episode, the recording stops, and underneath, there’s the end of an episode of St Elsewhere.

When this ends, that recording stops, and underneath there’s the end of a documentary, Twilight City.

Then, the tape runs out during another documentary, India’s Rajiv.

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4 comments

    1. My brother and I liked him on Little House On The Prairie when it was repeated on Channel 4 in the 1990s. He always came across as a likeable especially in Highway To Heaven which was an ITV Sunday afternoon favourite.

      Wow, a young JJ Abrams. I watched the entire series of Alias a few years ago and must say that the first 2 or 3 seasons made for excellent viewing with Jennifer Garner on top form as secret agent and master of disguise Sydney Bristow. The Mission Impossible films are good too.

      I used to watch The Simpsons at a mate’s house as a teenager.

  1. Ah, because of Moving Pictures always notice Skip Lievsay’s name in the credits of films, I think he’s still going, too.

    Nice that Simpsons Tom Jones still has his tan. Was George Hamilton ever on the show?

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