dirs: Kentucker Audley & Albert Birney
Oddness abounds. But it abounds in a manner that I found oddly enjoyable.
Strawberry Mansion probably was made with a budget somewhat lower than what I spent on chewing gum last week, but I would hazard a guess that if they’d been given a massive budget, the flick would not have worked at all. The fact that it looks cobbled together with found objects and jerry-rigged items from out of hard rubbish entirely adds to the movie’s charm.
I don’t know if it adds thematically, but then the movie’s themes are pretty out there as it is.
The film opens with a nebbish-y guy (Kentucker Audley) trapped in an-all pink kitchen, desperately trying to find something to eat or drink. He’s frantic, starving, dying. A knock at the door – a man appears, bearing the gift of a bucket of Cap’n Kelly Chicken and a bottle of Red Rocket cola. The bearer of such bounties, being Buddy (Linas Phillips), tells the other chap that he’s always here for him, and he’ll never let him down. They eat and drink in a disturbingly orgiastic manner.
The nebbish-y guy wakes up. It was all a dream. He checks some machine, because, in this brave new world set in 2035, people record their dreams, and the government imposes a tax on those dreams.
The chap, dapper with his trimmed moustache and natty hat, drives to a Cap’n Kelly Chicken place, and gets a mess of fried chicken, with Red Rocket soda to wash it all down with.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence.
James Preble is the man, or at least a man, and it’s not just his job just to tax his own dreams, but to tax the dreams of others on behalf of the government. He drives out to a building, one that looks suspiciously pink, maybe strawberry-coloured, though I’m not sure how much of a mansion it is. He has been tasked, as an oneiric auditor (‘oneiric’ means ‘of dreams’ in Greek, that’s how I know!), to audit the dreams of the woman who lives in the mansion.