Fast, Cheap & Out Of Control
Documentarian Errol Morris has never made films that were easy to describe; he often hasn't even made the films he originally set out to make. His debut, Gates Of Heaven, started out as an examination of a single bizarre incident at a California pet cemetery, and ended up expanding into something considerably more far-reaching. What Fast, Cheap & Out Of Control was initially intended to be can't be discerned from what ends up on the screen. It's a series of seemingly unconnected interviews with four unusual men: a professional lion tamer; a zoologist who studies African mole-rats, disturbing-looking insect-like creatures with no fur and huge teeth; a robot expert intent on creating realistic simulations of living creatures; and a sculptor of hedge animals. Somewhat difficult to summarize, the closest comparison is a fugue, with themes explored by different voices, dropped, and then picked up again later. The traditional goals of the documentary have never been Morris', and Fast, Cheap & Out Of Control is no exception. It's a difficult and thought-provoking piece of work that will probably puzzle more than enlighten, but it's also an unforgettable, funny, strangely rewarding, unique exercise.