Air Guitar Nation
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Fueled by pure rock energy, this documentary chronicles the birth of the U.S. Air Guitar Championship and investigates the passions that drive its participants all the way to the world competition. No longer a mere bedroom pastime, air guitar is now recognized as a force with universal appeal. Oulu, Finland, has hosted the Air Guitar World Championship for years, but remarkably, as late as 2002, the United States had yet to be represented. After the sold-out success of the inaugural stateside tournament held at the Pussycat Lounge in Tribeca, it became clear that America had been hungering to stand up and take its turn on the international stage. Filmmaker Alexandra Lipsitz captures the electricity of that initial event, and goes on to track the intense rivalries that develop in further rounds as contestants vie to become the country's first ambassador of air. C-Diddy, Bjorn Turoque, and Krye Tuff are only a few of the players who set out to become legends. Of course the question remains, once in Finland, will the unproven United States be able to hold its own? Those who blithely mock air guitar as a competitive event have yet to experience its power. Contestants are judged on their technical accuracy, stage presence, and "airness", a zen-like state that transcends all else. Lipsitz's high-energy film bears witness to the air guitar phenomenon and proves that though the instruments may be invisible, the rock is real. For anyone who has ever had rock star fantasies or dreamed of taking their fake strums all the way to the top, this film is for you.
Director's Statement Collapse
One night in Oulu, Finland at about 3:45 am I found myself in a rock club called the 45 Special. There were some twenty people of all shapes and sizes, in different levels of consciousness and inebriation air guitaring their hearts out. I look at Cedric Devitt, a producer of the film. He was beckoning me onto the floor. We rocked out.
There is something that happens to you when you air guitar, I am not sure if it is on a biological, mental or spiritual level. Maybe it happens on all three levels, but it involves checking your ego at the door to have fun and just letting go of everything. The Finnish air guitar community believes Air Guitar can bring about world peace simply because you cannot hold a gun and an air guitar at the same time.
All I know is that I changed that night, I became a convert, a groupie of groupies. Anyway this film is a product of many people working for many hours, all done for the love of Air Guitar and World Peace. My hope is that the film inspires people to take themselves a little less seriously and enjoy life.
Film Information Collapse
[AIRGU] | 2006 | 81 | Documentary Feature
Directed by: Ishai Setton and Alexandra Lipsitz
Foreign Title: (Air Guitar Nation)
Language: English, Finnish
Premiere: New York
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About the Director(s)Collapse
Air Guitar Nation is director Alexandra Lipsitz's first feature documentary. In the 1980's, she worked with Andzje Kostenko and the BBC on documentaries in Poland. In addition to her film experience, she also worked for several American circuses, and traveled the seas of South East Asia, working as crew on a sailboat. She later returned to film, assisting Ondi Timoner on two documentary projects. Lipsitz also helped produce hours of fascinating television for the reality competition series, Project Greenlight and Project Runway. Lipsitz is from New York City.