March 29, 2023
  • 12:08 pm Fall Convocation 2022: “The State of this University is Strong”
  • 9:37 pm Ogrin Brings the Thunder in Toros 12-3 rout; team plays for playoff championship tomorrow
  • 7:00 am Outstanding Professor Award Recipient’s Mic Drop Moment at Last Month’s Virtual Ceremony
  • 9:10 am Bookworms of the World Unite!
  • 7:46 pm Breaking News: All Students Living in Campus Housing Required to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine
  • 9:00 am CSUDH Esports Creates International Competition
  • 9:35 am Spring Commencement Ceremonies Get Brighter
  • 3:46 pm Breaking News: Spring Commencement Ceremonies Recieve Stadium Upgrade
  • 8:00 am Testing the Teachers (and All the Educators)
  • 9:30 am CSUDH Educators and School Employees, Vaccinated Next
  • 10:30 am For White People Only: Anti-Racism Workshop Addresses Racial Bias and Unity
  • 2:43 pm Greatness Personified: Remembering Kobe Bryant
  • 10:02 am Straight Down the Chimney and Into Your (Digital) Hands: Special Holiday Edition of The Bulletin!
  • 2:44 pm Did You Wake up Looking this Beautiful?
  • 11:43 am A Long History for University’s Newest Major
  • 5:15 pm Issue 5 of Bulletin Live! Collector’s Item! Worth its Weight in Digital Paper!
  • 4:06 pm Special Election Issue
  • 4:03 pm Three best Latinx Halloween & Horror Short Films available now on HBO Max
  • 9:49 am Issue 3 of CSUDH Bulletin Live if You Want It
  • 3:24 pm Hispanic Heritage Month Update
  • 2:00 pm South Bay Economic Forecast Goes Virtual
  • 3:52 pm BREAKING NEWS: Classes for Spring to be Online, CSU Chancellor Announces
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  • 8:30 am March Into History: Just 5 in 1970, CSUDH Growth Shaped by Historic Event
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  • 5:07 pm STAFF EDITORIAL: Even Socially Distant, We All Have to Work Together
  • 5:47 pm Transcript of CSUDH President Parham’s Coronavirus Announcement
  • 10:46 am Cal State Long Beach Suspends Face-to-Face Classes; CSUDH Discussing Contingency Plans
  • 5:26 pm Things Black People Should be Able to Get Away with This Month
  • 10:25 am Latinx Students Need a Place to Call Home
  • 2:35 pm Will Time Run Out Before Funds for PEGS? [UPDATED]
  • 8:41 am Year of the Rat? What’s That?
  • 6:20 am Artist Who Gave Life to Death and Inspired Countless Others Gets His Due at Dominguez Hills
  • 5:16 pm Why I’m Rooting for Dr. Cornel West
  • 5:00 pm Under Fire from the Feds, Vaping’s Future is Cloudy
  • 3:28 pm We’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat; Tsunami 3.0 Hits Campus, Enrollment Swells
  • 4:48 pm University Weathering a Wave of New Students
  • 9:21 pm The Bulletin’s Public Records Request Offers Springboard to Launch Gender Equity Discussion at CSUDH
  • 4:27 pm Black is the New Black: Raising the Capital on the “B” Word
  • 10:53 am Guns Up for Arrest: Student advocacy group pushes for CSU No Gun Zones–Including the Police
  • 4:09 pm Staff Editorial: Words on the First
  • 8:42 pm Carson Mayor Blasts Media, Landmark Libel Case in Keynote Address
  • 9:27 am Free Speech Week Calendar of Events Update
  • 6:02 am Food for Thought: 40% of Students are Food Insecure
  • 3:12 pm Academic Senate Rejects CSU GE Task Force & Report
  • 3:06 pm Work To Be Done
  • 5:56 pm ASI Elections: What You Need to Know
  • 8:02 pm CSUDH President Parham Announces Cancer Diagnosis
  • 9:47 am CSUDH Art Professor’s 20-Year Journey Results in First Local Showing of Film
  • 9:13 pm Free Speech or Free Hate area?
  • 9:08 pm CSUDH’s Best & Brightest Shine at Student Research Day
  • 9:05 pm Academic Senate Approves Gender Equity Task Force
  • 12:37 pm When Dr. Davis speaks, Toros Pay Close Attention
  • 3:38 pm Investing in the Future: Dr. Thomas A. Parham Reflects on the Past Eight Months and Contemplates​ the University’s Future
  • 3:24 pm Green Olive to Open By End of Feb; Starbucks Not Until Fall
  • 3:20 pm Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Hailed for Extensive Funding Increases
  • 3:08 pm Out of the Classroom: Labor and Community Organizing Course Aims to Teach Students How to Organize for Social Justice
  • 2:54 pm The Other Route in Professional Sports
  • 9:02 am Hail to the New Chief, CSUDH President Thomas Parham
  • 3:36 pm Career Center Holds Major/Minor Fair
  • 5:34 pm After Unexpected Delay, Undocumented Becomes More Intimate Theatrical Production
  • 1:30 pm What to Expect When You’re Expecting New Buildings
  • 4:00 pm Perception Is Key
  • 4:00 pm Celebrating Women’s History Month Toro Style
  • 4:00 pm The Algorithms of the Internet are Biased
  • 4:00 pm Taking a Look at J. Cole’s Lyrics
  • 4:00 pm The Adventures of Pablo EscoBear

James Preble and Bella Isadora, played by Kentucker Audley and Penny Fuller, share a quiet lunch together in the “real world” from Strawberry Mansion, one of many films debuted virtually at Sundance 2021 Film Festival. Photo courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

By Destiny Jackson, Arts and Entertainment Editor

If you were to drain the weird juice from Netflix’s original series  “Maniac,” “Black Mirror”, extract the pulp from  Michel Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” add a dash of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” and a scoop of hallucinogenic plot-laced bananas, you might come up with  something close to “Strawberry Mansion.”

And one hell of a brain ache induced by the dizzying, genre-defying romance sci-fi film created by Albert Birney and Kentucker Audley. 

The film, which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, is set in 2035  America where the government isn’t just tracking your movements, emails and phone calls, it’s figured out to enter your mind and monetize your dreams.  After finding out an elderly woman, Arabella “Bella” Isadora (Penny Fuller), has neglected to pay her dream-taxes for nearly half a century and a government auditor by the name of James Preble (Kentucker Audley) goes to investigate. 

However, what transpires once he gets to the house is anything but simple. Before he steps foot over the threshold of the titular mansion, a Victorian-styled Strawberry-hued home, Preamble is forced to comply with Bella’s sing-songy riddle: “Out of my hair and into my home you must lick the ice cream cone.” In an uncomfortably tight close-up, the camera zooms in on a reluctant Preble (and his tongue) as they are subjected to a vibrant pink scoop of what must be strawberry ice cream as ominous 1980s synthesized music. Once inside Preble is forced to catalog 2,000 VHS tapes containing all of her unaccounted dreams.

While in the virtual reality-induced dream world, Preble spots a younger version of Bella (Grace Glowicki) living what seems like her best manic pixie dream girl life as she conjures images of anthropomorphic frogs that double as waiters and dancing skeletons. Seduced by her flight of whimsy in dreams but disheartened by her flighty behavior in reality, Preble finds both the phantasmal and corporeal world colliding. And of course, love is never easy in either realm. 

The first half of this 90-min sci-fi rom-com adventure is clear as it attempts to set up a love story in which the lonely Preble, looking for any excitement from his plain reality, tries to figure out how he can have his cake—tolerate living with elder Bella—and eat his strawberries too—enter a relationship with the younger dream-version of Bella.

The film feels like a dream in the sense that it is scattered, disjointed and flittering. That works in the first half because of the fantastical seeds it tries to plant about an unconventional love story; but in the second act, as the plot twists into a loony love story that branches out into conspiracies on subliminal messaging, it just doesn’t. There’s just too much going on: time travel, sailor rats, a seven year-journey, and anti-capitalism. 

There is just too much, and not enough focus to ground the film in any kind of reality, as weird as it may be, that would make the viewer want to care about whatever it’s trying to say. 

Instead of a cohesive story about how love transcends space and time, “Strawberry Mansion” just seems to be made up of things that Wes Anderson probably left on the cutting room floor for someone to then tried to sell to the folks at Black Mirror. It doesn’t quite work.

This is unfortunate as the film is pretty to look at with its vivid blue skies, lush green knolls, plushy glittering snow. But outside of its dreamy, otherworldly aesthetic and decent acting from Audley, Fuller and Glowicki all you’ve got left is a film that feels like one big sugar-coated accident.

Directed, written, edited by: Kentucker Audley, Albert Birney
Starring: Kentucker Audley, Penny Fuller, Grace Glowicki, Reed Birney, Linas Phillips, Constance Shulman, Ephraim Birney, Albert Birney.
Runtime: 90 mins


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