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Visual Acoustics (2008)

Unrated  |   |  Documentary  |  9 October 2009 (USA)
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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. ... See full summary »


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Title: Visual Acoustics (2008)

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Credited cast:
Frances Anderton ...
Frank O. Gehry ...
Himself - Narrator
Ray Kappe ...
Craig Krull ...
Barbara Lamprecht ...
Ricardo Legorreta ...
Leo Marmol ...
Judy McKee ...
Raymond Richard Neutra ...
Juergen Nogai ...
Edward Ruscha ...
Himself (as Ed Ruscha)
Julius Shulman ...


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. Written by Owens/Rothschild

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Official Sites:



Release Date:

9 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Visual Acoustics  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,517 (USA) (9 October 2009)


$96,354 (USA) (26 February 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

When standing on the shoulders of a giant all you have to do is not fall off.
17 December 2009 | by (Portland,OR) – See all my reviews

This is one of those documentaries that is just about impossible to screw up. Julius Shulman was such a monumental figure in both 20th century photography and modern architecture (not to mention an affable and entertaining subject) that a documentarian need only to remember to take the lens cap off - the movie makes itself.

That being said, this film at times takes a on a tone that I felt undermined the content. Aside from a few exceptions, the "wacky" animations and motion graphics which worked in films like 'The Kid Stays in the Picture' felt very out of place here. Furthermore, the production standards for much of the interview footage was appallingly low - especially considering it is a movie ABOUT a photographer.

All of this aside, I do recommend seeing this if you are a fan of Shulman's work or mid century modern architecture. Maybe I'm being too hard on this film, but after waiting for months to see this in the theater, I left a bit disappointed. Considering so much of this film concerns itself with the fundamentals of modernism where "form follows function", I really feel that the style of someone like Gary Hustwit ('Helvetica' & 'Objectified') would have been a lot more suited to this production.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Very good documentary about modernist architecture sjankis630
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