Air Guitar Nation

Air Guitar Nation

Air Guitar Nation is a workmanlike documentary record of the international air guitar tournament in Finland circa 2003. The film traces the path to the championship via the competitions held in America to decide who gets to represent the USA. In true sports movie fashion, the documentary focuses on eventual winner C-Diddy and his main rival, Bjorn Turoque. Other competitors drift through, all with silly stage names and colourful costumes. There’s ample footage of the air guitarists on stage, in training and during the big finale. Mildly entertaining and amusing as it is,Air Guitar Nation could have used more of the gleeful absurdity of the contestants themselves. By hewing so closely to TV conventions in its structure and emphasis, with its reality show-style interviews with the participants and the inevitable emphasis on the U.S. contingent, the film actually makes its subject less funny and interesting than it really is. What’s missing is some insight into what the music, drawn mostly from the heavy rock pantheon (Motörhead, Judas Priest, etc.), means or doesn’t mean to the principals beyond offering the opportunity for a few precious moments of mock rock star glory. The extras consist of trailers and additional footage, some of which should probably have made the final cut, notably the comment made by a contestant called the Airtight Messiah that real guitar-playing is "so limiting,” where air guitar has "an infinite number of notes.” (Maple)