Fast, Cheap and Out of Control
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Errol Morris' newest subjects are four eccentrics: MIT robot scientist Rodney Brooks; a topiary gardener George Mendonca; retired lion tamer Dave Hoover; and Ray Mendez, an authority on tiny mole rats. Morris creates a profound meditation on man's relationship with the world around him.
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Fast, Cheap and Out of Control is often reviewed -- and marketed -- as an examination of eccentrics. While Morris does play up personality quirks, particularly of the two scientists, it is not the central theme of the movie. Perhaps it is the passion that these four men hold for their life work that comes across as so unusual to people
It didn't take long before the editing delicately overlapped imagery and narration. As this happened, the connections between seemingly unrelated words and images surfaced and began dominating my experience of this film. As the men examined their own respective roles in society, much of what they say of themselves can be said of us all. Their stories become one. The big story is the story of life on Earth right now.
I would also like to make special mention of the soundtrack. The music really straddles the line between playful and haunting. It seems to drive the film in a lot of ways and perfectly frames the subjects and their work.
The men that are the subject of this documentary are endearing characters that aren't selling us anything. They only want to share with us some aspect of the world that has captured them. I saw this film in the theater and was unprepared; I was moved. This piece is not for everyone. Maybe I'm just easily inspired, maybe this is solid gold. If I'm easily inspired then good for me, if this is solid gold then you really ought to watch it.