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Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman 2008 NR CC

(41) IMDb 7.4/10
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Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, VISUAL ACOUSTICS celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman, the worlds greatest architectural photographer, whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream.

Frances Anderton, Tom Ford
1 hour, 24 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Eric Bricker
Starring Frances Anderton, Tom Ford
Supporting actors Frank O. Gehry, Dustin Hoffman, Ray Kappe, Craig Krull, Barbara Lamprecht, Ricardo Legorreta, Kelly Lynch, Leo Marmol, Judy McKee, Raymond Richard Neutra, Juergen Nogai, Edward Ruscha, Julius Shulman, Dante Spinotti, Angelika Taschen, Benedikt Taschen
Studio Arthouse Films/Curiously Bright
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Verygoods on August 27, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After waiting for nearly a year for the chance to see this, I had so hoped that this documentary would be worthy of Shulman and his extraordinary work. As mentioned in the video Modernist Shulman did not like Post Modernism architecture. Oddly what we have here, to present Julius Shulman born 1910 died 2009, is a dizzying Post Modernist chop chop documentary. I am absolutely enthralled by Shulman's photo work. And apart from the style of film making, what is most maddening is that Shulman's photographs, the very reason why the video should have been made, are usually on the screen for a period of less than four seconds each - four seconds! And during those sparse moments, Shulman's photos are moved around, swept across, have distracting CGI animated roads threading below - just too much razzle dazzle. Painfully, there is even a segment where a cartoon character is animated to walk in front of a few of Shulman's photos - the impact is unbelievably amateurish at best. Shulman's work was used and experimented with like raw materials to show off what the filmmakers can do instead of showing us what Shulman did. If you have ever been at, or in, a great work of architecture you know that understanding it, the space, your presence - takes time. I found myself continuously pausing the video just for the chance to really see these historic, architectural photos. The video offers far too many distractions such as people making needless comments and who really should not be in the video. The filmmaker and his crew did not need to be in the video, movie stars and their spouses need not have been included. Experts did not have to endlessly offer their reasons as to why Shulman is great - the photos could have done that and in the most meaningful way possible.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Craig L. Janeway on July 13, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I loved this documentary simply because I feel like I met Julius and got to spend some time with him, if only via the screen. His simple approach to photography of single point and revealing his secret of combining natural light with artificial lighting to complement each other in order to reveal more layers was wonderful. Also, I liked the concept of how he was always relaxed and took the time to experience the moment and let the architectural, and the emotional impact of the moment, lead him in his shot taking; not letting components of that moment like dogs barking, be something that distracted him, but instead, gave him the opportunity to interact and respond as being one with the moment. Clearly his talent was to know how alive he was at every moment, and his photos reflect this energy. The architecture he was shooting, simply allowed him to share himself like any artist does, through their chosen medium and present to us what he was able to see at that moment. The beauty he didn't create, but he was able to see it, and capture it through his camera lens, and in this respect, created a different kind of beauty, one that everyone could now see, and see it though his eyes by way to the photos he took. I see architectural photography in a new light now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Diamonds on January 29, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As an Architect, I can concur with some of the other reviews here; after watching a screening of the movie at a local Architecture Festival, I experienced a host of mixed feelings, unlike after seeing other major movies on Architects or Architectural subjects. On the positive side, yes, impressed and pleased with the main character and his work, but I agree that there's too much stuffed into this movie that's distracting, as has been mentioned before. But not only that; it is likely that as a viewer you're about to see not only photographs, but works of Architecture that are absolutely stunning and new at the same time, but to see them come by as on a luggage 'belt' for only what seems to be not more then a second at a time, is, maybe unknowingly, producing a teasing effect (multiplied by 100), only to take you back to the next shot of an 'event'. That is so contrasting with the few moments in the film where time has been taken to be in a place with the man and pertaining other relevant character(s), that it numbs you while watching, so that after having seen half of it, the movie line and direction are not apparent any more, no cohesion, and you wonder if that's it, after every sequence. Thanks for mentioning the bonus material and trailer; I might after all buy the movie, because as a teaser, the movie does have an effect; I want more of the Architecture shown and his photography of it !
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By DCguy on May 30, 2010
Format: DVD
move over, ken burns.

this film has it all ... engrossing content and brilliant delivery. even the soundtrack. mesmerizing.

it enlightens us with a powerful overview of modern architects and their architecture, in los angeles and elsewhere, frozen in time and unified through the collaborative efforts of a creative and devoted photographer ... who apparently was a real character in his own right.

this is his story. and the history of modern architecture. both well told by the filmmaker and all involved ... clients, colleagues, family, friends, and fans. including my former architecture history professor at ucla during the post-modern rage.

i rented this dvd from netflix. i will now buy the dvd AND the soundtrack cd to enjoy at will and share with others. yes, it's that good.
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