"ANIMATION in the U.K," as mentioned last week, is a potpourri of shorts from the 1987 London Film Festival. Shown Friday at 8 at the Hirshhorn, "Animation" is part of the museum's "Independents" film series.

Next Thursday and Friday, February 4 and 5, at 8 (the regular showtime for the "Independents" series, through March), it's "Dotty Shorts: Recent, Humorous, Brief." Among the "Dotty" fare: Bingo Inferno, in which a son declares war on the game that has his mother so obsessed, Neon: An Electric Memoir, a chronicle of neon history, and Mr. President, a farce in which the FBI mistakenly suspects a family of plotting to kidnap the president.

The series is part of three concurrent, and free, film programs. The "Documentaries" series, about art or artists, is shown Thursdays at noon, and the "Matinees" series for children is Saturday mornings at 11.

In the "Documentaries" series, Joel Shapiro (Thursday at noon, and February 5 at 1 p.m.) looks at the sculptor's painted woodworks. The children's shows begin February 6 with Vr-r-r-m with a View: The Pinchcliff Grand Prix, a puppetoon movie about a wacky car race. Call 357-2700.

Eight Taiwanese films will be screened at the American Film Institute, beginning Saturday with The Terrorizer (at 6) and Taipei Story (8:45). Edward Yang, director of both films, and Ts'ai Ch'in (who acts in "Taipei") will attend the screening. Also coming up are Chang Yi's This Love of Mine, Monday at 8:30; Run Away, Thursday at 6:30; The Boys from Fengkuei, on February 9; The Loser, The Hero, February 11; Myth of a City, February 15; and Daughter of the Nile, February 17. The AFI will also show Two Dollars and a Dream, Stanley Nelson's documentary of Madame C. J. Walker, America's first black, self-made millionaire and her daughter A'Lelia. "Dollars" screens Monday at 6:30. Admission is $3.50 (members) and $4.50 (nonmembers). Call 785-4600.

Saturday at 1:30, the National Gallery of Art will show films by Stan Brakhage, a prolific, avant-garde filmmaker who has made more than 100 films -- long, short, silent, with music and one even made with moth wings stuck on the celluloid -- since he started in the '50s. The Gallery will show Window Water Baby Moving, The Wonder Ring, Fire of Waters, Dog Star Man: Prelude, Anticipation of the Night and Songs, VIII through XIV. Admission at the East Building auditorium is free. Call 737-4215.

Thursday, the Smithsonian Resident Associates shows My Friend Ivan Lapshin, a 1984 Russian film by Alexei Gherman about a police inspector pursuing a murderer during the Stalin era. "Ivan" was featured at New York's New Directors, New Films festival last year. Admission, at the Natural History Building's Baird Auditorium, is $6.50 ($5 members). Call 357-3030.

Also on Thursday, French filmmaker Suzanne Schiffman's The Sorceress will have its Washington premiere at the K/B Janus, at 7. "Sorceress," set in medieval France, is the story of a Dominican friar's spiritual tussle with a woman faith healer. The $10 admission, which includes a buffet meal and an introduction by screenwriter Pamela Berger, will benefit Women in Film and Video. Call 463-6372.