Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman (image 1)

This is nirvana for lovers of mid-century modern and fine-art photography.

Robert Koehler, Variety

Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman 2008

Directed by Eric Bricker

This doco about veteran photographer Julius Shulman is a treasure trove of modernist architectural eye-candy, a coffee table book come to life. “Nirvana for lovers of mid-century modern and fine-art photography.” — Variety

USA In English
83 minutes DigiBeta

Director

Producers

Eric Bricker
,
Babette Zilch

Screenplay

Eric Bricker
,
Phil Ethington

Photography

Dante Spinotti

Editor

Charlton McMillan

Music

Charlie Campagna

Narrator

Dustin Hoffman

With

Julius Shulman
,
Judy McKee
,
Carlos von Frankenberg
,
Benedikt Taschen
,
Leo Marmol
,
Frank Gehry
,
Craig Krull
,
Kelly Lynch
,
E. Stewart Williams
,
Angelika Taschen

Elsewhere

This documentary is a treasure trove of modernist architectural eyecandy, like a Taschen coffee table book come to life. ‘Visual acoustics’ is a coinage of photographer Julius Shulman, and the film is a celebration of his decades of work shooting architecture. Shulman was so intimately connected and concerned with promoting the homes created by the great American modernists (Wright, Gehry, Neutra et al.) that the film doubles as a celebration of that entire era, one which he was arguably pivotal in defining. Most architecture films tend to focus on the contemporary creation of large public buildings. Visual Acoustics takes the opposite approach and is all the better for it: it takes us into domestic spaces and talks with the people who have lived in them for decades. Shulman, a spry nonagenarian, has maintained long-term relationships with the architects and the owners of the homes he documented and he gives us a privileged entrée to the kind of iconic houses most of us can only dream about. — AL