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  • Summary: Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, Visual Acoustics celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman, the world’s greatest architectural photographer, whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream. Shulman, who passed away this year, captured the work of nearly every modern and progressive architect since the 1930s including Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, John Lautner and Frank Gehry. His images epitomized the singular beauty of Southern California’s modernist movement and brought its iconic structures to the attention of the general public. This unique film is both a testament to the evolution of modern architecture and a joyful portrait of the magnetic, whip-smart gentleman who chronicled it with his unforgettable images. (Arthouse Films) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Shulman was around so long that he even got to weigh in on Frank Gehry's Disney Hall. He was skeptical once but came to love it.
  2. A really terrific, intensely focused documentary on a fascinating personality.
  3. Associated with the modernist architectural movement centered in Southern California during the mid-20th century, Shulman’s still photographs are essential to any study of the style’s vast popularization and commercialism.
  4. Reviewed by: Andy Webster
    70
    It’s about lovely photographs of graceful buildings and those who can afford the real estate. But it does pay proper respect to a deserving artist.
  5. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    70
    Enjoyable as it is, Bricker's giddy hagiography could have used a little pushback, especially in the matter of Shulman's airy dismissal of the postmodernism that, he claimed, forced him into "retirement."
  6. 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.
  7. Reviewed by: Fred Camper
    50
    This documentary tells this story reasonably well, though one might question whether director Eric Bricker's jazzy montages, collages, and rapid camera movements are appropriate to the contemplation of still photographs.

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