Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control (1997)

Errol Morris documentary focuses on four oddballs: a sculptor of topiary hedges, a lion tamer, an engineer who builds insect-like robots, and the world's foremost expert on the mole rat. Morris crosscuts footage of his subjects weighing in on what their obsessions mean to them with bizarre stock footage from old newsreels, educational films, and cartoons, then layers dialogue from one subject over visual footage of another -- disorienting techniques that deliver unusual punctuation, and uncover common ground between these disparate men and their works. What first seems a kooky conceit gone wrong slowly gels into a deeper meditation about how our passions shape our lives. Sublime, weird, hilarious, moving.

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