starring Penny Fuller, Kentucker Audley, Grace Glowicki, Reed Birney
written and directed by Albert Birney & Kentucker Audley
by Walter Chaw Strawberry Mansion is very much like a live-action "Adventure Time", perhaps doomed, like Pendleton Ward's existentialist/surrealist masterpiece, to a long road to appreciation as something emotionally incisive rather than something especially but merely unconventional. Of all the antecedents it boasts (add eXistenZ, Alphaville, Tom Schiller's Nothing Lasts Forever, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Douglas Adams's work, and, um, Laura to the mix), however, Strawberry Mansion finally reminds me most of the Oliver Stone-produced miniseries "Wild Palms" in both its literal execution and the low thrum of underlying paranoia about the commodification of dream sleep. The danger is great that a stew as heady as this will be ponderous at best, indecipherable at worst, but it's delivered with a confident, even light touch by co-writers/co-directors Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney. As odd as it seems on the surface, the picture, again like "Adventure Time", has easy-to-argue themes and is guided by what feels like real, cathartic pathos. Strawberry Mansion's aggressive artifice actually enhances its emotional authenticity. I love this film.