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All Movie GuideA winning send-up of the rock & roll dream, Air Guitar Nation follows two aspirants, David Jung aka "C-Diddy" and Dan Crane aka "Bjorn Turoque" from the first U.S. Air Guitar Championship in Los Angeles to the World Air Guitar Championship in Oulu, Finland. In many ways this is about a generation steeped in irony so thick they have trouble parsing the sincerity of their actions. Or another way of putting it is can one seriously rock without being funny, or has self-aware amusement always been a part of rocking out? The contestants initially treat their sport as little more than a reason to wear spandex, but upon arriving in Finland, find that their European counterparts approach their art with less outrageous, more deadpan earnestness. The governing association believes the international air guitar movement can bring about world peace when people drop their weapons to pick up their airtar. C-Diddy uses his acting skills to fashion a hard to defeat bit of operatic virtuosity, while Bjorn Turoque who has since become active in the community relies on a more punkish-realist approach. Unfortunately the contestants don't make much of a case for their hobby, or rather, what case can be made is made quickly as there is only so much that can be wrought out of pretending to do something. At less than an hour and half long, Air Guitar Nation is fun while probably sating most people's curiosity on the subject. The pacing and structure is modeled after the underdog/up-from-obscurity template familiar to All-American sports
ock dream mythmaking. That everyone is in on the joke can be annoying, but director Alexandra Lipsitz strikes the right tonal balance, similar to her subjects, of knowing when to mock oneself and when to celebrate ridiculousness.