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Half-hour scene filmed entirely in reverse--seen on PBS decades ago?

Asked by Jeruba (50611points) May 8th, 2016

Sometime probably in the 1970s I saw a program on PBS that featured a lot of unusual (for the time) sound and visual effects. It was made by setting everything up in reverse—the two actors had to learn all their lines and movements backwards—and then running it the opposite way. It was probably done on film, not videotape, and there were most likely no computers involved.

There wasn’t much of a story, just some ordinary domestic interaction between a young woman who was supposed to look like a little girl and an older man, her father. The young woman was dressed Alice-in-Wonderland-style with a pinafore and long hair. She said “Daddy” very frequently. The setting was a single room that I remember as a quasi-Victorian study with large pieces of leather-upholstered furniture, occasional tables, and a fireplace.

Part of what made this bizarre was the woman playing a little girl and speaking childishly; that would have seemed a bit disturbing even without the special circumstances. This was on top of the well-executed but nonetheless unnatural-sounding accents that the actors had on account of pronouncing all the words backwards. Not only sounds but inflections are very difficult to reverse.

Footage included pouring liquid that ran upward from the cup, fire that seemed to light itself when extinguished, and playing cards that unshuffled themselves.

I saw this only once and don’t remember the title or any other identification. I’d like to see it again if anyone can help me identify it.

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