Release Date: March 23rd, 2007 (Angelika Film Center) by Shadow Distribution.
Directed by Alexandra Lipsitz.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about air guitar rockers who aspire to win the U.S. Air Guitar Championships and the world championship.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The concept of the air guitar competition involves rockers pretending to play the guitar with music blazing in the background while the audience goes wild. It sounds like it could easily be part of a Christopher Guest “documentary” given its absurdity. During the East Coast try-outs for the U.S. Air Guitar Championships, Dan Crane, a.k.a Bjorn Turoque, becomes the winner while David Jung, a.k.a. C-Diddy wins the West Coast try-outs. Both go on to represent the U.S. in the world championship. Director Alexandra Lipsitz expertly combines behind-the-scenes interviews with Bjorn Turoque and C-Diddy along with footage from the competitions, such of which looks and sounds hilarious in an off-beat way. The real stand-out here, by far, is C-Diddy, who essentially looks like a Korean-American version of Jack Black as he dons a red cape while plucking the “air guitar” onstage. He hopes to impress his Korean parents as well as his fiancée who’s also his high school sweetheart. Although Air Guitar Nation doesn’t feel as riveting as other documentaries with competitions, such as Spellbound, it radiates enough wild energy, panache and style to entertain even those completely unfamiliar with rock music. At a running time of 78 minutes, it never overstays its welcome.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None, other than the importance of following your passions no matter how absurd they might seem.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: A zany and wildly energetic documentary full of charisma and style.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater
The "A" Menu