Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman
Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman (2009)

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… More

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: October 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: May 25, 2010
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Critic Score: 94% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Ty Burr
Boston Globe

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.

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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor

Bricker doesn't have much filmic pizazz, but Shulman's photos encompass the entire history of modernist architecture.

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Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle

Shulman's still photographs are essential to any study of the style's vast popularization and commercialism.

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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Although Shulman died after Visual Acoustics was completed, this stylish film reminds us that great images endure after bodies and buildings crumble.

Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle

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.

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Gerald Peary
Boston Phoenix

Eric Bricker's documentary celebration of America's most renowned architectural photographer is effusive in its praise, tame in its public-television-style execution.

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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer

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.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

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.

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Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

Architectural photographer Julius Shulman was a pivotal figure in US popular culture. He's the one who taught Americans to love modernism.

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Flixster Audience Score: 81% Flixster User Reviews
Bill Cavros
I am a great fan of modernism and Shulman's work. I was really hoping for more of his work and perspective, Bricker's film just has a post-modern feel… More