I Cannot Understand You (Ich Kann Sie Nicht Verstehen)

2004 . 5 minutes 44 seconds . 16mm

Available for purchase: Intolerable Questions DVD at amazon.com

Available for festival and gallery rental through the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre


Don’t fear life’s misunderstandings - let a philosophical Tape Recorder guide you through a world of fireworks, flowers and thrill rides.


Kevin Silva - Herr Tonbandgerät


David Baeumler – Script, camera, editor, post sound/music
Otto Mörth – Location Sound
Drew Martin – Production Assistant
Sandra Kelberlau – Production Assistant

Filmed on location in Vienna, Budapest and Raleigh, North Carolina

FESTIVAL SCREENINGS (2004 unless noted)

XXII International Film Festival Uruguay  - Montevideo, Uruguay
Cucalorus Film Festival – Wilmington, North Carolina
Palm Beach International Short Film Festival – West Palm Beach, Florida
Hi Mom! Film Festival– Carrboro, North Carolina
46th Rochester International Film Festival – Rochester, New York (Winner:  Best of Festival Distinction)
37th Humboldt International Short Film Festival – Arcata, California (Winner Award:  Honorable Mention in Experimental Film)
SLC X-Fest - Bronxville, New York
Forest Film Fest – Portland, Oregon
VideoEX – 2004 – Zurich, Switzerland
Dubrovnik International Film Festival – Dubrovnik, Croatia
Boston International Film Festival – Boston, Massachusetts
FilmStock International Film Festival –  Luton, UK
Berkeley Film & Video Festival – Berkeley, California (Winner: Best of the Fest)
Zoinks! Film Festival – Boston, Massachusetts
38th Annual Brooklyn Arts Council Film Festival – Brooklyn, New York
VisionFest – New York, New York
Sacramento Film & Music Festival – Sacramento, California
Silver Lake Film Festival – Los Angeles, California
New England Film and Video Festival – Boston, Massachusetts
UC David Film Festival – Davis, California
Kinofilm Manchester International Film Festival – Manchester, UK
Echo Park Film Center - Los Angeles, California (2006)


Film Threat - March 3, 2005 - David Finkelstein
(Review at FilmThreat.com)
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.

VisionFEST Film Festival -2004
Baeumler returns to VisionFest for a second consecutive year with another eye-dazzling experimental marvel.