|Index||8 reviews in total|
the most fun i've had in a movie theater, ever. incredibly well made, but truth be told i could tape cell phone cameras to my hyperactive dogs and throw tennis balls around a room with these guys in it and the resulting footage would be Oscar-worthy. also, after the screening i saw of it, the director and three of the protagonists (bjorn turoque and the two American guys who created the US National Air Guitar Championships) answered questions from the crowd and did nothing but further my newfound love for this beautiful, hilarious art form. if this movie gets the distribution deal it deserves and comes within a hundred miles of you, go see it. if you need a reason to restore your faith in humanity amidst all the depressing stuff that's happening in the world, find your way to air guitar nation. you'll thank yourself forever.
This is one of the most fun documentaries you are liable to see. It
follows two American air guitar heroes, C-Diddy and Bjorn Turoque, from
the initial East Coast qualifying round, via the U.S. final to the
World Championship in the Mecca of air guitar, Oulu in northern
Finland. Along the way we are introduced to an array of colourful air
guitarists, including the guru of airness Zac 'The Magnet' Munro, a
wheelchair-bound Christian rock Nikki Sixx look-a-like, a Belgian Jesus
Christ impersonator, etc etc etc.
The film begins with a montage of air guitarists doing their thing. At this early stage you could be forgiven for thinking 'what the hell is this?'. But as this documentary progresses we get to know the protagonists and we learn that the people behind these air god personas are very likable. And then a bizarre thing happens - you begin to get strangely drawn into their routines. For 81 minutes you will be caught up in the craziness of this art-form. You will cheer on the contestants. You will know a good air guitar performance!
This is an extremely funny film. The air guitar boot camps, the ultra-serious competitors, the OTT performances and the insane air guitar talk will have you in hysterics. But this is not only about laughs, it's very warm-hearted too. You will like these people. It's hard to imagine coming out of this movie and not smiling.
For those about to rock we salute you!!!!
I saw this film at SilverDocs 2006, AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary
Film Festival in Silver Spring, MD. I was initially hesitant to see
this movie, because seriously, how good can a film called "Air Guitar
Nation" be? In actuality, I was surprisingly entertained and amazed by
this engaging film.
Unlike some documentaries that seem rushed or incomplete, "Air Guitar Nation" is a finished work. The film begins by introducing a score of wholly unique and zany, yet ultimately very human competitors into the world of air guitar. Though comical at first glance, the competitors rise above the visual silliness of strumming air to let their personalities warm the hearts of the audience.
By the end of the film, I was rooting whole-heartedly for all the competitors as they battled for the World Air Guitar Championship. I walked out of the theater with the sounds of great music in my head and a newfound respect for air guitar in general. And once at home, I blew the dust off my own air guitar and jammed out a few solos!
About 10 minutes into this film a big grin came across my face and it never left. That would be my entire review were it not for the fact that there is a ten line minimum and I have only written three. It is a shame that there is an R rating to this film because other than a couple of f bombs and a naked guy grabbing himself for about ten seconds on stage (which I believe is cheating because you really should not use props), but other than those two scenes this is a film that kids would love as well. The air guitar championships take place in Finland and they have a message of peace that Scandinavians relay very nicely. You just like everyone involved in this film. I was not expecting to enjoy it nearly as much as I did. Highly recommended.
Set around the 2003 Annual Air Guitar World Championship Contest, and
in particular around the first-time American participants, Air Guitar
Nation plays like a tournament movie, pitting two opponents against
each other, the "favorite" C-Diddy and the "relentless challenger"
Don't be deterred by the overall silliness (which everyone acknowledges) and gives this documentary a chance. It's a joy to watch, from the inventive structure to the obvious fun the contestants have taking on their "rock star" personas. No these dudes aren't really like that, they're taking on a role! And having a blast doing it too! Air Guitar Nation certainly isn't a must-watch but it's a very nice watch. Very original and a lot of fun. A refreshing documentary which doesn't take itself seriously and doesn't tackle a serious matter either.
"Air Guitar Nation" is probably the best documentary ever made about a
non-subject. Air Guitar, for those unfamiliar with the term, is the art
of playing heavy metal guitar sans the actual guitar. It's what every
spastic, tone-deaf teenager with dreams of one day becoming the next
Jimi Hendrix has done in the privacy of his own bedroom since the late
1960's. Who could ever have imagined that a whole subculture and
cottage industry would one day spring up around an activity that most
of us probably never admitted to doing even to our closest buddies?
Yet, that is exactly what has happened, and in its rise to semi-"respectability," Air Guitar has gathered unto itself a bevy of impassioned, hardcore fans who see nothing crazy in cheering on a wannabe guitarist as he mimics the moves of actual music-making immortals like Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton on stage. Indeed, the Air Guitar movement even boasts its own roster of revered icons and pioneers and has established well-attended competitions on the local, national and international level as a means of showcasing its finest talents and garnering itself some much-needed publicity. The movie follows two of the key figures in the field, C-Diddy and Bjorn Turoque - each with his own very different hard rocker persona - as they head to the 2003 Air Guitar championship held in Oulu, Finland.
The basic charm of "Air Guitar Nation" lies in its ability to acknowledge the silliness of the whole concept while, at the same time, evincing a genuine, heartfelt affection for both the activity and those who participate in it. Indeed, far more time is spent getting to know the "musicians" as people than in watching them actually perform. What is most striking about the young men is just how reserved, shy and self-effacing they are by nature until they take to the stage and simply cut loose with all their wild gesticulations and antics at the behest of the adoring crowd. It is then that they become truly transformed, so much so that even the most cynical scoffer may find himself caught up in the spirit of the moment, sweating out the contest's ultimate outcome right along with the participants. The men also face their inexplicable status as celebrities with a clear-eyed rationality, not taking themselves or their accomplishments all that seriously (their satirical names alone reflect that playful spirit), a fact that makes the whole thing at least palatable for those who still may not quite "get it" even after the closing credits have rolled on by.
In a genre that has been over-inundated with highly political and
overly depressing fare for the past several years, a documentary like
"Air Guitar Nation" is a welcome change, albeit one you might not
likely talk about with others. "Air Guitar Nation" does for the
peculiar rocker nerd what "Spellbound" did for the quiet word nerd. It
raises them above expectation and stereotype, at least to a point.
For those completely out of the loop, air guitar is many things. Perhaps it is what dorks who can't play guitar do when listening to power chord heavy rock music, or perhaps it is a performance art in the family of pantomime or lip synching, or perhaps even the purist completely anti-corporate art form that exists. Fashion photographer Alexandra Lipsitz, whose main credits stem from Bravo's "Project Runway", has assembled a film about the first ever Air Guitar Championships in the United States which drew an unexpected huge crowd in downtown New York in 2003. After the National Champion was crowned, it was off to the International event in Finland where things are taken very seriously.
"Air Guitar Nation" is a well-made documentary that presents an unbiased look at an often misunderstood subculture that may rekindle rock and roll passion in it's audience as well as embarrassment for watching something about a bunch of adults (men and women, by the way) pretending to play invisible instruments.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
How is it possible to take such an interesting premise such as "Air Guitar" and have it come out so dull and boring? Clearly, the choices made by the director and producers on what to show and what not to show was a big factor. In addition, the American characters were weak, and I didn't care whether they won or lost. C-Diddy seems like a nice guy, but completely lacked charisma. But he was great compared to Bjorn Turoque, an incredibly obnoxious and self-centered slacker. Before the competition, Bjorn meets the Austrian champs, and later says to the camera, "these guys don't like me." Well of course they don't like you...you're a jerk!
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