Trust Us, This Is All Made Up

Film, 2009

Trust Us, This Is All Made Up is one of those documentaries that’s subject is so rich that it seems like the filmmaker only had to point the camera at his subject and boom; the movie was made. This is a gross simplification of course, but wisely the director does keep his distance- roughly three fourths of the film is an unedited performance by the subjects, improv virtuosos TJ and Dave. The performers never recycle characters or situations, or discuss any of the content of their performances ahead of time. They start out each show staring at each other until a scrap of a relationship forms, and then gradually build characters and a situation out of it over the next hour, in a never to be repeated performance. The camera setup and cutting delicately serve (rather than hinder) their work, which is quite a feat. The music in the opening and exit interviews with the subjects tries to add a little too much gravitas to their already heavy philosophies, but when juxtopositioned with the lightness of the particular featured performance it comes out okay. 4

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