Air Guitar Nation

  • Film
  • Documentaries

Just as there is a swelling clan of crackpot promoters whose get-rich-quick schemes go as far as sticking the word ‘competitive’ in front of any pursuit, there exists a corresponding group of filmmakers who are always on hand to mop up the results with their buzzing mini-DV cameras. Alexandra Lipsitz’s film is just such an enterprise, a nuts-and-bolts document of the annual Air Guitar World Championships which take place in the rural outpost of Oulu in Finland. We’re introduced to a predictably endearing set of Spandex-clad (and generally greasy)  ‘characters’ who believe that pretending to twang along to some noodly ’80s pomp-rock in front of a crowd of inebriated yahoos amounts to performance art.

The film’s raison d’être comes with the realisation by two young men that the US has never fielded a competitor in this, er, sport and follows their desire to get one of their boys up on stage to claim glory for Uncle Sam. Sadly, it’s a joke that runs out of steam, with Lipsitz missing tricks a-plenty, such as what a psychologist would make of a person like Dan ‘Björn Türoque’ Crane, who has dedicated his  life to the activity. Sure, the film comes swaddled in super-sized quote-marks, but there is the sense that some of the protagonists do take it a bit too seriously. The only dissenting voice comes from a CNN news anchor who describes a snippet of performance footage as, ‘One of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen.’

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday November 9 2007
Duration: 81 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Alexandra Lipsitz

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|4
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Rachel Nd Annie

Rock on dudes!! This film is totally radical. Air guitar nation is top notch! What the hell is 'nob twiddlers' please?? Never heard it before in my life. 20/10!

Rachel Nd Annie

Rock on dudes!! This film is totally radical. Air guitar nation is top notch! What the hell is 'nob twiddlers' please?? Never heard it before in my life. 20/10!

Debbie Williams

David Jenkins should learn to chill a bit. What sort of criticism is "predictably endearing"? Yes, the air guitarists verge on the sad side of daft but there is a self-awareness here that your review wilfully chose to ignore. I'd rather spend time with Bjorn Turoque than any number of the navel-gazing nob twiddlers who litters the gig pages of Time Out. Lighten up.

Debbie Williams

David Jenkins should learn to chill a bit. What sort of criticism is "predictably endearing"? Yes, the air guitarists verge on the sad side of daft but there is a self-awareness here that your review wilfully chose to ignore. I'd rather spend time with Bjorn Turoque than any number of the navel-gazing nob twiddlers who litters the gig pages of Time Out. Lighten up.