Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman
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Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman
For years, journalists have pontificated at length on the importance of modernist architecture in contemporary society, even dissecting its angles, proportions, and overall aesthetics. But what of the visual artists responsible for bringing views of this architecture to the mass public? Time and again, architecture photographer Julius Shulman perfected this unusual and highly specialized art form, defining not modernist architecture per se (he left that up to the designers) but how the overall public perceives modernist architecture. Utilizing a pronounced visual style, this program joins… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Precise as a blueprint, the film convinces you of Shulman's worth (and, by extension, of the architects he helped immortalize) without imparting the passion the filmmakers so obviously feel. It's functional, but it could have used a little more form."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Bricker doesn't have much filmic pizazz, but Shulman's photos encompass the entire history of modernist architecture."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"Shulman's still photographs are essential to any study of the style's vast popularization and commercialism."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"Shulman is such an interesting character due to the influence he wielded in Modern architecture's ability to flourish in America that all the gushy conversations with architects and academics actually seem merited."
‑ Jerry Portwood, New York Press
"Schulman's passion to be present in the here and now and "stop time" with his photographs is indicative of a mortal who has channeled the powers that be to make something that wasn't there before: Art in its greatest sense."
‑ Matthew Nestel, Boxoffice Magazine
"Although Shulman died after Visual Acoustics was completed, this stylish film reminds us that great images endure after bodies and buildings crumble."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"The Shulman we see is a man of sharp humor, with an ego to match some of the architects he worked for. He's been slowed down by time, but relishes all the attention lavished on him as a living master."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"Eric Bricker's documentary celebration of America's most renowned architectural photographer is effusive in its praise, tame in its public-television-style execution."
‑ Gerald Peary, Boston Phoenix
"A thoroughly compelling, well-edited and illuminating documentary that rarely has a dull moment."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"Gives a convincing, contagious taste of its protagonist's playful optimism."
‑ Bill Weber, Slant Magazine
"Eric Bricker's glowing portrait of Shulman uses its subject's photos to persuade the viewer that one picture is worth a thousand architectural masterworks."
‑ Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Visual Acoustics is nominally about the life and career of landmark Southern California architectural photographer Julius Shulman, but it's more about the buildings he photographed than it is about him. Which is probably the way he'd like it."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Architectural photographer Julius Shulman was a pivotal figure in US popular culture. He's the one who taught Americans to love modernism."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
""Visual Acoustics" offers a history lesson, biopic, and visually harmonic essay via Julius Shulman's gifted focus."
‑ Cole Smithey,
More reviews for Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman on Rotten Tomatoes