Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman (2009)

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Movie Info

Julius Shulman was, as many experts agree, the world's greatest architectural photographer. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, "Visual Acoustics" celebrates the life and career of this brilliant artist and highlights not only the iconic images that made the man, but the magnetic character behind those images. Shulman captured the work of virtually every modern architect since the 1930s, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, John Lautner and Frank Gehry. His work epitomized the singular beauty of Southern California's modernist movement and ushered modern architecture into the American mainstream. This fascinating portrait is a testament both to the evolution of modern architecture and to the joyful, whip-smart gentleman who captured its indelible images.

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Critic Reviews for Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (9)

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 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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 | Rating: 3/4

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 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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

November 6, 2009 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

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 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

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.

Bill Cavros
Bill Cavros

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