When the government can access your dreams, inland revenue sees a chance to claw back more of taxpayers’ money, in this wonderful, lo-fi Sundance hit.
James Prebble (Kentucker Audley) is a federal auditor. Not of people’s back accounts, but of their dreams. He sifts through the random bubbles of collected memories, experiences and imaginings to see if any income has been hidden. His latest target is Bella (Penny Fuller), a cheerily eccentric old woman who, according to Prebble’s records, is decades behind in her dream reporting.
She invites him to stay for a few days as he works his way through her analogue back catalogue of dreams. In doing so, he falls in love with Bella’s younger self, uncovers a far-reaching conspiracy and not only questions his job, but his very existence.
Following hot on the heels of the madcap, multi-versal Everything Everywhere All At Once, co-directors, writers and editors Audley and Albert Birney have created a playful, low-budget stream of dream-consciousness comedy that revels in its embrace of low-fi analogue technology.
Not dissimilar to the work of Michel Gondry’s The Science of Sleep and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Strawberry Mansion gleefully runs the gamut from romance to corporate and governmental intrigue, all shot through with an anarchic, absurdist edge.