Fast, Cheap and Out of Control
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In Fast, Cheap & Out of Control, a 1997 film, Errol Morris brings together four seemingly disparate subjects: a lion tamer, a naked mole rat researcher, an aging topiary artist and an artificial intelligence researcher at MIT.
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Ray Mendez 
- People just come and look....They're looking to see if there's a common ground. They're constantly trying to find themselves in another social animal."
Quotes about Fast, Cheap & Out of Control 
- "For me, it's about what a lot of my work is about, creating a character in their specific situation and also revealing their mental landscape, a model of their universe. At the heart of it, this was made when my parents were dying and I was fascinated with the way mortality interferes with our plans whether we like it or not." ~Errol Morris "Sand that Grows and Other Stories" by Liam Lacey, April 29, 2005
- "Then I got interested in the mole rats. What's the connection between the lion tamer and the mole rats? I don't know if there even is one. Mole rats spend their entire lives digging tunnels. They have a rigid social system. They're like wasps or bees - there's a queen and workers. Mole rats dig at random, looking for tubers. Maybe they find a tuber, or maybe they don't. They just dig away. At one point I had thought the mole rats addressed the Utopian ideal of what it would be like if there were no crime or criminals, if you could say hello to your neighbor and your neighbor would say hello in return and we'd all be assured that no one would attack us with an axe. Is aggression innate in mammals? Well, supposedly not in mole rats. The mole rat was thought to be the only mammal that lives in harmony with its fellow-mammals, its fellow mole rats. The only. But it turns out that mole rats are nonviolent only under certain circumstances - that, in fact, they can be really nasty critters after all, who at times really do seem to hate one another. When one colony of mole rats meets another, they can be extremely vicious. Anyway, that was my original idea - Dr. Grigson, lion tamers, mole rats. I then decided to add to this compote 'Electrocuting an Elephant' - which was, if anything, a miscarriage-of-justice story." ~Errol Morris, discussing his planned project Dr. Death. Source: Predilections by Mark Singer, 1989