We’ve all had a moment when we’ve been “hooked on a feeling,” shredding away on our own invisible guitar to an old Led Zeppelin track. The complete and utter freedom accompanied by doing something completely uninhibited. And whether it is dancing naked, singing in the shower and yes, even playing the air guitar; it is always an unbelievably uplifting feeling to let the music grab you and move you in ways that you wouldn’t normally move in front of others. But what if you could do that sort of thing in public? What if you could immerse yourself in a persona that is nothing short of insane and achieve rock star status? If you can see yourself in that world, then you are a prime candidate for the US Air Guitar Championships, the driving force behind the ferociously entertaining documentary Air Guitar Nation.
Air Guitar Nation chronicles the birth of the US Air Guitar Championships and the rise of America’s first world Air Guitar Champion, David “C-Diddy” Jung. In 2003, Jung rose from the regional finals in New York to become the US Champion, beating his arch nemesis Dan “Bjorn Turoque” Crane three times to become the first US Champ. From there C-Diddy traveled to Oulu, Finland for the World Air Guitar Championships where he became the first ever American to compete, let alone win.
As one of the competitors in the film says early on, “It’s like a joke at first. But if you tell the joke 1,000 times, eventually you forget that its a joke.” The same can be said for this spectacular homage directed by first time documentarian Alexandra Lipsitz. At first you are thrust into the world of the air guitar and you want to think that it is all going to be this big joke, a gag on the competitors and their childish antics. But once you see these guys, how serious they take themselves and their craft, you fall head over heels for the concept and lose yourself to the rocking energy of the film.
It is that energy, an uplifting pulse and intense sense of fun that carries the film far and away from your average documentary. From moment one when Bjorn Turoque tells us, “To err is human, to air guitar is divine” to the final gut-busting performance of C-Diddy, this film has a pace that is all its own. Partly because of the ass kickin’ soundtrack, but mostly due to the unbridled passion of the film’s combatants. These guys are serious about their air guitar!
And even though the film does have a political message toward the end, it is not thrown in our faces. The founders behind the World Air Guitar Championships believe that the air guitar represents peace, and that is something that we can all get behind. And while the Air Guitar competition itself is no laughing matter, this film is pure, riff shredding fun! You will want to run home, download the soundtrack from iTunes, bust out your own air guitar and rock out!
The 2007 US Air Guitar Championship Tour is underway, visit their official site to see if they are coming to your town!