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Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997)

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1:50 | Trailer
An exploration of the careers of four unrelated professionals: a lion tamer, a robotics expert, a topiary gardener, and a naked mole rat specialist.

Director:

Errol Morris
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11 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dave Hoover ... Himself (Wild Animal Trainer)
George Mendonça ... Himself (Topiary Gardener)
Raymond A. Mendez ... Himself (Mole-Rat Specialist) (as Ray Mendez)
Rodney Brooks ... Himself - Robot Scientist
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Storyline

What do an elderly topiary gardener, a retired lion tamer, a man fascinated by mole rats, and a cutting-edge robotics designer have in common? Both nothing and everything in this unconventional documentary directed by Erroll Morris. Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (Referring to the robot specialist's strange philosophy of robot design structure, not Erroll Morris's documentary techniques!) interplays, overlaps, and interrelates these four separate and highly specialized documentary subjects in order to in truth study all of humanity, raising questions about the future of mankind. Written by Matthew F. Griffin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Schnell, billig und außer Kontrolle See more »

Filming Locations:

Portsmouth, Rhode Island, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,665, 5 October 1997

Gross USA:

$878,960

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$878,960
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

[On training lions]
Dave Hoover: That's the bottom line. If you're not scared of them, you're in big trouble.
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User Reviews

Emergent Systems
1 May 2004 | by epiphone62See all my reviews

In science, there is a property of any complex system, that more complexity and subtlety will result with each added component. This, in my opinion, was the subject of "Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control." The parallels drawn between AI, societal mammals, commonality of life (the lion tamer) and art (topiary gardener) flesh out a world where the idea of "God" can well be reduced to a simple inherent property of existence. Mole rat societies are not so far from human societies; humans are not so different from animals; robots are not so different from animals; and each individual represents a unique degree of specialization that proves important to the greater society it exists in. I found this work elegant, subtle, and even-handed, not to mention completely unique in its structure and faith in the audience to decipher an individual meaning from the context provided. Each person interviewed is wholly engrossed in their craft, something for which no other human can be substituted, and that exuberance shines in their eyes. It's a strange ride that inspires wonder in trusting viewers, exactly the way that the experts' wonder has motivated their realization as truly unique humans.


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