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Miscellaneous - Air Guitar Nation

  by Mark Rowland

published: 16 / 2 / 2008

Miscellaneous - Air Guitar Nation


'Air Guitar Nation' focuses on two contestants competing in the World Air Guitar Cnampionships. Mark Rowland finds that it makes compelling yet slightly difficult viewing

The act of air guitar may seem fairly throwaway, a kind of jokey dance for hard rock songs that people do to get a laugh from their mates. Apparently, it's not; it's acually the purest form of art around. At least, so says 2002 Air Guitar World champion Zac 'Mr Magnet' Munro, a man who seems to take himself very seriously considering what he is known for. There seems to be a dividing line between contestants in the World Air Guitar Championships; those who treat it as a bit of fun and have fun in the process and those who treat it as a sport, a serious competition. These people are nutcases. One of the main protagonists in 'Air Guitar Nation', actor David 'C-Diddy' Jung, seems to take it for what it is. Dressed in a ridiculous kimono/Hello Kitty ensemble, his performances are full of OTT gurns and postures. He looks as if he's really anjoying himself and you like him all the more for it. His main opponent from the US and the other contestant we follow in the documentary, Dan 'Bjorn Turoque' Crane, is the opposite. His numerous attempts to get to the world championships become increasingly desperate as he enters and fails to win in almost every regional competition in the US, eventually turning to donations to get him to the world finals in Finland. His attempts seem purely ego driven, as if he is trying to make up for the fact that he hasn't made it as a rock star. It all makes for compelling yet slightly difficult viewing. There are times when you almost feel for Crane, but then he does or says something to put you right off him again. He was so desperately keen to impress that he even contributed a (frankly awful) song as the movie's theme. As the film goes on, you realise that Munro is just as attention hungry as Crane, and on an extra docu-short on the DVD, they are both there together - two egotistical peas in a very twattish pod. For twats. Still, Crane has done very well out of the film, writing a book about his experiences in the Air Guitar Championships and at the end of the day, you sort of admire his persistence. If Crane offers an interesting look into the mind of a narcissist, Jung is someone you can really route for. When not being his C-Diddy alter-ego, Jung comes across as a genuinely nice guy, introducing us to his family and enjoying the spotlight brought upon him by the Air Guitar championships in a fairly down to earth way; he knows that it won't last, so he enjoys it for what it is. HIs ability to realise the absurbity of the "sport" also makes him eaily relatable to the average viewer. So in conclusion, I'd say 'Air Guitar Nation' is a lot like air guitar itself; great fun to watch, but not something that should be taken to seriously, no matter what some people might say about it.

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