Memphis Sundance Film Festival - Strawberry Mansion
Directed by Albert Birney & Kentucker Audley
In the not-too-distant future, an all-seeing surveillance state conducts "dream audits" to collect taxes on the unconscious lives of the populace. Mild-mannered government agent James Preble (Kentucker Audley) travels to a remote farmhouse to audit the dreams of Arabella "Bella" Isadora (Penny Fuller), an eccentric, aging artist. Entering Bella's vast VHS archive, which contains a lifetime of dreams, Preble stumbles upon a secret that offers him a chance at love—and hope for escape.
Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney's playfully surreal romantic fantasy envisions a world not so different from our own: a glitchy digital dystopia where every human experience is monetized—where even our unconscious minds have been colonized by advertising. With its wildly expressive color schemes and inventive dreamscapes, Strawberry Mansion also conjures an optimistic future through a retreat to our analog past. Audley and Fuller are disarmingly funny as the intergenerational (and interdimensional) lovers, while Grace Glowicki is affecting as the young Bella of Preble's dreams. Electronic musician Dan Deacon scores this strange vision with shimmering synths and hypnotic strings.