By EW Staff
Updated June 19, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT
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More obscure—in every sense—than his earlier hits The Thin Blue Line (1988) and A Brief History of Time (1992), Errol Morris’ oblique, fascinating documentary FAST, CHEAP & OUT OF CONTROL (1997) assembles its themes piece by piece over 82 minutes. As its four subjects talk passionately about their offbeat vocations—as robot designer, topiary gardener, lion tamer, and naturalist specializing in the naked mole rat—Morris weaves their conversations together, splicing in footage from old movies and connecting seemingly unrelated fragments until the film takes on the heady feeling of a dream. From this mix Morris creates a contrapuntal contemplation of technology, tradition, and the allure of the natural world. Though it was a challenge to sit through in the theater, the film is perfect for video, where you can pause every so often to wonder at the relationship between obsession and joy. A-

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