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Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman (2009)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 471

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My Rating

Movie Info

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

May 25, 2010

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All Critics (17) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (1)

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.

February 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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Although Shulman died after Visual Acoustics was completed, this stylish film reminds us that great images endure after bodies and buildings crumble.

January 28, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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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.

December 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Bricker doesn't have much filmic pizazz, but Shulman's photos encompass the entire history of modernist architecture.

November 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
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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.

November 5, 2009 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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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.

October 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Shulman's still photographs are essential to any study of the style's vast popularization and commercialism.

March 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin 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.

February 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

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

November 11, 2009 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

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.

October 14, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Press
New York Press

A thoroughly compelling, well-edited and illuminating documentary that rarely has a dull moment.

October 12, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

"Visual Acoustics" offers a history lesson, biopic, and visually harmonic essay via Julius Shulman's gifted focus.

October 11, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

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.

October 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Gives a convincing, contagious taste of its protagonist's playful optimism.

October 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman

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 that would make Shulman roll over in his grave. If Shulman had lived through the completion of the project the would have added some much needed editing. The movie promises some insight into Frank Loyd Wright, but it is very brief. Beyond allot of Shulman's work and looking into work and visiting the houses 50+ year later, there is some insight into many architects that are overlooked, but pivotal in the movement. Not a great film but I give Bricker credit for capturing Shulman before he was gone.
November 24, 2010
Blaster1618
Bill Cavros

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