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Visual Acoustics
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Visual Acoustics (2008) More at IMDbPro »

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Visual Acoustics -- 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.
Visual Acoustics -- 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.

VISUAL ACOUSTICS won the Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Austin Film Festival, the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Lone Star International Film Festival and Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

Overview

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7.4/10   401 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Eric Bricker (written by) &
Phil Ethington (written by) ...
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View company contact information for Visual Acoustics on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 October 2009 (USA) See more »
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Plot:
Visual Acoustics celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman, the world's greatest architectural photographer... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Speaking Space See more (3 total) »

Cast

 
Frances Anderton ... Herself

Tom Ford ... Himself
Frank O. Gehry ... Himself

Dustin Hoffman ... Himself-Narrator
Ricardo Legorreta ... Himself

Kelly Lynch ... Herself
Leo Marmol ... Himself
Judy McKee ... Herself
Raymond Richard Neutra ... Himself
Juergen Nogai ... Himself
Edward Ruscha ... Himself (as Ed Ruscha)
Julius Shulman ... Himself
Dante Spinotti ... Himself
Angelika Taschen ... Herself
Benedikt Taschen ... Himself

Directed by
Eric Bricker 
 
Writing credits
Eric Bricker (written by) &
Phil Ethington (written by)

Jessica Hundley (co-writer) &
Lisa Hughes (co-writer)

Deborah Dietsch (additional material)

Produced by
Karen Arbeeny .... consulting producer
Eric Bricker .... producer
Lisa Hughes .... executive producer
Frederic Liebert .... co-producer
Rose Nielsen .... associate producer
Michelle Oliver .... executive producer
Will Paice .... co-producer
Babette Zilch .... producer
 
Original Music by
Charlie Campagna 
 
Cinematography by
Dante Spinotti 
Aiken Weiss 
 
Film Editing by
Charlton McMillan 
 
Makeup Department
Bernadette Beauvais .... makeup artist
Alexis Kelley .... makeup artist
Anette Laurent .... makeup artist
 
Sound Department
Ron Bartlett .... re-recording mixer
Charlie Campagna .... dialogue & sound effects editor
Steven Corbiere .... sound
Eric Flickinger .... re-recording mixer
Paul Graff .... sound
Paul Marshall .... sound
Paul Morris .... sound
Lori Weinhouse .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael Barrere .... key grip
Eric Bricker .... camera operator
George Cacamise .... key grip
Douglas A. Degrazzio .... digital imaging technician (as Doug DeGrazzio)
Gerrit Garretsen .... dolly grip
Bill Greenberg .... best boy
Nick Higgins .... additional cinematographer
Bob Jason .... gaffer
April Kelley .... second assistant camera
Jeremiah Kent .... first assistant camera
David McFarland .... additional cinematographer (as Dave McFarland)
Thomas Rist .... camera operator
George Steward .... dolly grip
Taj J. Teffaha .... steadicam operator
Cameron Tucker .... camera operator
Aiken Weiss .... steadicam operator
Michael Weldon .... first assistant camera
Justin Wells .... digital imaging technician
Christopher A. Zwirner .... gaffer
 
Animation Department
Peter Belsky .... animator
Marisa Fiechter .... production team
Anna Minkkinen .... animator
Todd Neale .... animator
Tandi Rabinowitz .... production team
Paul Schlacter .... animator
Shag .... animated character creator
Jessica Sun .... animator
Jakob Trollbäck .... animation director
Emre Veryeri .... animator
Garry Waller .... animator
Joe Wright .... animation director
Tolga Yildiz .... animator
 
Editorial Department
Jimmy Tom .... colorist
 
Other crew
Steve Bricker .... production assistant
Patricia Fernandez .... production assistant
Chris Lenz .... production assistant
Elizabeth Marley .... production assistant
Michael Saleman .... production attorney
Kevin Schini .... production assistant
Thang Truong .... production assistant
 

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Runtime:
83 min
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Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Speaking Space, 3 August 2009
Author: tedg (tedg@FilmsFolded.com) from Virginia Beach

Here's more about the challenge of architecture and cinema. Its not trivial, the problem of what does space mean in films? What narrative role does it play? What vocabulary is relevant?

This film is rather mundane in most ways. It is a biography of a fellow of influence. He's quirky, but always in a desirable way (so far as the entertained audience). His profession — why he is important — allows for all sorts of images, from interviews, filming of him now and in the past, silly animations, and shots of the buildings he has photographed. As a biography and film, it is something of a yawn, as ordinary as they claim the fellow to be extraordinary. But it gives an excuse to think deeply about architecture and image, about motion, space and narrative.

The context: starting in the 30s in Europe a general philosophical trend toward purity was reflected in schools of architecture. The main notion there was the use of modern materials to escape traditional constraints in form. This would allow a designer to use forms that were pure, natural, deep. Differences among groups were a matter of what path was best in finding purity, nature and depth. It was a good time.

Out of that general influence stepped some designers in Los Angeles who appropriated some principles of purity from one of these schools. Planes, power, open glass, but in an architecturally superficial way. What they did instead was separate these notions of European architecture from the narrative of real explorations into being and self into a narrative of wealth and a privileged lifestyle.

Architectural effects were neutered in the service of selling this "California Lifestyle" and reduced to powerful planes that pushed past invisible glass walls. Purity became "a good view." Rethinking of space became simple openness. What began as a matter of meaning, turned into a matter of advertising a narrative, something of an artificial one. Sure, some of the effects in these buildings were competent, but they were largely in the same business as the television executives who bought the houses. It was a bad time.

Now, along comes a talented photographer, or rather one who would become talented and who would make this architecture famous. Why is illustrative.

His talent is the ability to make a narrative out of certain views of these accommodating structures. Or, if you please, he finds the narrative. This film is wonderful in that when you actually see him work (he still does) you can see him aligning forms so that from front to back — always in a one point perspective — there is an articulated flow that indicates energy. Many times, he uses that energy to indicate a connection with the environment. It is a masterly art, a good thing.

I did not appreciate the influence this fellow has had on cinematographers, and how they handle architecture. You need the bold planes and deep spaces of "modern" architecture for this relatively simple technique, but you can clearly see it in, say Sasha Vierny, or XX.

As to the value of the film as a film, it is far less competent than the things is speaks of, and draws on witnesses who are not worth listening to. I suppose the filmmakers will be happy if you like this charming old coot and know that somehow he was important. It succeeds at that.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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