Playing AVI as a background

Is there a way of playing an AVI behind some OPENGL animation without the use of texture rendering

Of course. You only have to use special functions for 2D rendering like glDrawPixels or Win32 function StretchBlt (if You’re using windows), but texture mapping is usually faster.

Will quicktime do?

there is a tutorial at that shows how to play an avi in opengl. Its shows how to play them on the sides of cube, cylinders, etc. I think this may help