Visual Acoustics. The modernism of Julius Shulman, a documentary film

A very interesting film project was shown at the LA Film Festival in June: Visual Acoustics. The modernism of Julius Shulman, a documentary film by Eric Bricker.


Julius Shulman is a well-known architecture photographer – born in 1910, he’s still very active at work. Even though he did retire some years ago – only to come back to work after few weeks (I read this in an article about Shulman announcing an illustrated book by Taschen – Modernism Rediscovered – about him. I have to look it up and verify the dates.) His works have coined today’s view of modern architecture, many photographs became iconic shots. Especially famous are his photographs of Californian modernism, buildings by Richard Neutra, Frank Lloyd Wright, Pierre Koenig, Charles Eames.

The documentary film project „explores the monumental career“ of Julius Shulman. „Taking its aesthetic cues from Shulman’s own sensual and nuanced photography, the film’s narrative is built from a blend of Shulman’s own images as well as in depth interviews with architect Frank Gehry, designer Tom Ford, artist Ed Ruscha, actress Kelly Lynch and writer Mitch Glazer, publisher Benedikt Taschen, Academy Award – nominated cinematographer Dante Spinotti, and a host of others.“ The documentary is narrated by Dustin Hoffman.

>>Watch trailer<<

„In addition, by offering unprecedented and exclusive access to his amazing photographic archive and his day-to-day life, Shulman’s dedicated involvement in the process afforded an incalculable benefit to the film. Through the exploration of both Shulman’s art and uniquely individualistic life, Visual Acoustics offers an unforgettable portrait of Modernism’s most eloquent ambassador.“

Citations taken from the official website of „Visual Acoustics“.

The documentary film was researched from January 2002 through December 2003, the shooting took place from February 2004 through May 2006, the editing from October 2005 through October 2007.

The director of „Visual Acoustics“, Eric Bricker, is a personal friend of Shulman. He says: „I consider Julius Shulman my mentor and my friend. Few people have had such a profound impact on my life as he. Two things were apparent to me upon my initial meeting with Julius in the spring of 1999. First, the photography created by the man is nothing short of astounding and second, Julius himself is as equally impressive as the work he created.“

More information about the director can be found on the website.

The film is going to be screened in the USA, as well as in England in October. Screenings in Germany are to follow.

2 Responses to “Visual Acoustics. The modernism of Julius Shulman, a documentary film”

  1. RaiulBaztepo

    Mrz 29. 2009

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

    Reply to this comment

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  1. REVIEW: Julius Shulman. Modernism Rediscovered, by TASCHEN « deconarch - 1. Juli 2009

    […] Übrigens: Leben und Werk Shulmans widmet sich die filmische Dokumentation “Visual Acoustics”. […]

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