subterranean film, bavarian ire / by mrm

On Saturday night I went to the Werkstattkino, which is a pocket-size, art house movie theatre. It's also in a basement. (Don't you love it when alternative culture is literally* underground?) I saw Programm 2 of Oberhausen on Tour - highlights from the recent the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Neat! The highlight for me was an animated short about an awkward and apologetic polar bear with an English accent who tries to make up with his equally English penguin girlfriend. Parlour drama cross with Ant/artica! Over tea and ginger cookies, he slowly, carefully, hesitantly, and with obvious embarrassment retracts his comments of the previous evening while she glowers, flippers crossed, on the sofa opposite (I didn't mean what I said, you're a beautiful swimmer. And you're really good at catching - small - fish.) Oh, I laughed. Runner-up highlight: when the credits for the aforementioned film rolled, and the man in front of me turned and said in obvious irritation, "It wasn't that funny." I have one thing to say to you, o my humorless friend: train your English!**

*I'm really glad someone else is already doing this, so I don't have to.

**seemingly for a variety of reasons, Germans rarely speak of practicing their English. Instead, they are inclined to say with a sigh and a shake of the head "Ach, this is heavy***. I must train my English."

***also (and of course I am speaking of lower level language learners), many of my students complain that "English is so heavy", translating from the German (schwierig), which appears to do double-duty for both heavy and "difficult". But really, why shouldn't language have weight? There is so much accidental poetry in non-native English.