Is it a sport? A game? An artform? It may be hard to define, but it's easy to see that air guitar is a lot of fun and immensely entertaining, and so is director Alexandra Lipsitz's Air Guitar Nation
, an utterly charming documentary about the young men (and a few women) who in 2003 competed both at home and abroad to determine whose "airness" would rule. Having visited Finland, the longtime home of the World Championship finale (who knew?), the previous year to check out the scene, Kriston Rucker and Cedric Devitt realized that no Americans were included, so they organized the first U.S., er, air-off in New York. It's there that we meet guys who are restaurant managers, software developers, budget analysts, and such in daily life, but who assume names like Air Raid, Krye Tuff, and The Shred when they hit the stage and perform to the music of Motorhead, Judas Priest, Steve Vai, and others while the crowd goes nuts (judges include Tom Morello, who plays real guitar for Rage Against the Machine). Two stars emerge from the pack--David "C-Diddy" Jung (an Exeter-educated actor whose immigrant parents wanted him to be a doctor or lawyer) and Dan "Bjorn Turoque" Crane ("to err is human, but to air guitar is divine")--and we follow them as they head to Oulu, Finland, to take on competitors from all over the globe (more than one of them compares the event to the Olympics). They must first endure Air Guitar Boot Camp, with lessons in "Air Guitar and Groupies" and "Maintaining Your Instrument," but the film takes off when it gets to the competition itself; the performances, all of them about a minute long, are an absolute riot, with all the laughs (intended and otherwise), macho grimacing, and showy moves used by real heavy metal axe-grinders. But while these are basically young folks having a good time, most see air guitar as something, well, transcendent. "It's instant meditation," says one. "It's about freedom to be yourself," adds another. "I'm going to out-weird the world," says C-Diddy. About 40 minutes of bonus material includes deleted scenes and additional performances. --Sam Graham
A battle of naked ambition played out on the national and world stage, AIR GUITAR NATION chronicles the birth of the US Air Guitar Championships as legions of aspiring rock stars compete to become the greatest air guitarist in the world. Two would-be rock legends emerge and strum their way towards glory and the coveted national title. Samurai warrior C. Diddy emerges as an early favorite, but his arch nemesis Björn Türoque is not far behind. Will Björn s technical prowess, attitude, and airness be enough to take him to the top, or will C. Diddy conquer all to become America s first supreme being of air guitar?
OVER 60 Minutes of Bonuses Including: Behind-the-Scenes Footage; Additional Air Guitar Performances; Where Are They Now Updates; Deleted Scenes; Theatrical Trailer; 5.1 Surround Sound; And More!