Fast, Cheap and Out of Control

    • Errol Morris
    • United States
    • 1997
    • 82 min
    • Retrospective: Errol Morris
    An animal trainer, a gardener specialized in converting yew hedges into animal figures, an expert in the field of blind mole-rats and a robot technician are the protagonists of Errol Morris’ playful philosophical exercise about the relationship between man and animal, culture and nature. Morris himself describes his film as a story in four parts about the Sisyphus myth, but Fast, Cheap and Out of Control particularly demonstrates affinity with Albert Camus’ interpretation of the Greek mythological figure as an absurd hero. The tragic personage who was condemned to push a rock up a hill day after day, only to see it rolling down again as soon as it had reached the top, was described by Camus in his essay Le mythe de Sisyphe (1942) as someone who passionately endures his torment. With equal passion Morris’s protagonists tell about their missions: taming the untamable beast, controlling the growth of a plant, classifying an animal species that is modifying itself and adapting to its environment permanently, and putting together robots that can imitate animal movements. Morris constructed this cinematic essay with a great sense of the carnivalesque and the absurd.

    Credits

    • 82 min
    • color / black and white
    • 35mm
    • Spoken languages: English
    Director
    Errol Morris
    Production
    Errol Morris for Fourth Floor Productions Inc., Julia Sheehan, Mark Lipson, Kathy Trustman
    Executive producer
    Lindsay Law
    Cinematography
    Robert Richardson
    Editing
    Shondra Merrill, Karen Schmeer

    IDFA history

    2015
    Screened
    Retrospective: Errol Morris
    1999
    Screened
    Top 10
    1997
    Screened
    IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

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    IDFA history

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