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By David Finkelstein | March 3, 2005

This short film, edited in a fast rhythm, shows footage of individuals and tourist sites in a variety of cities, mostly European. In the foreground of most of the shots is an old-fashioned, transistor style cassette recorder. Over a background of carnivalesque music, the voice of the tape recorder (played by Kevin Silva) acts as a philosophical tourguide, musing on the existential meanings of travel.

Baeumler has an eye for interesting shots, and a feel for creating an exciting rhythm though editing, making this film visually more interesting than the average travelogue film. The character of the “tape recorder” has a droll take on the multifarious spectacles of travel: pondering how the sights, sounds, and people of foreign cities are endlessly fascinating but ultimately incomprehensible. “We aren’t on this planet long enough to answer all the mysteries, and even if we were, what would the knowledge get us?” observes the tape recorder. “Understanding is like examining darkness with a flashlight,” he concludes. Despite differences between cultures, we are all connected through an “invisible network.”

“I cannot understand you” provides the enjoyable experience of a thrill ride through the spectacle of the world, guided by an agreeable philosophical object with a relaxed attitude towards intellectual inquiry.

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