Visual Acoustics, now on DVD

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Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman is a documentary film by Eric Bricker, now available on DVD (US release).

Architectural photography is often questioned on ethical terms regarding the conflict between the objective documentation of the built environment and the creative endeavour of the photographer. There is an underlying misconception at work that resonates with the idea that photographs are taken instead of made, a notion that implies the sense that the images themselves are already there. This false impression disregards the fact that the task of the photographer extends far beyond the mere capture of the real; the very translation of the physical world into the realm of photography requires a complex thread of choices considering multiple factors such as composition, lighting and exposure.
In a world dominated by digital culture and the widespread use of composite technology, the work of Julius Shulman remains a tribute to the creative and visionary dimension of photography as art. His visual records of modern architecture and urban L.A. are a negation of neutrality, presenting both an ostentatious glamour and style as well as a personal sense of mise-en-scène. These calculated images, often introducing characters and implicit narratives, revealed an author actively committed to the pursuit of a modernist iconography.
Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman is a fascinating portrayal of the life and work of this self-taught master, revealing the memories and techniques behind his vision. The documentary revisits many of the houses photographed by Shulman in the past, capturing not only the buildings but the historical and sociological atmosphere that surrounded them. Trailer and additional details after the jump. Click to expand. [+/-]


OVERVIEW: 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 captured the work of nearly every major 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.


1 Messages to “Visual Acoustics, now on DVD”

  1. Blogger dmath 

    I never had the privilege of meeting Julius Shulman. I did, however, once have the privilege of photographing a house that he had photographed. Just for kicks, I decided to try to recreate, as best my memory allowed, one of his shots of that house. I spent a long time trying and got a result with which I am very happy. But it doesn't approach his shot. He was a master.

    I used that photo in my book on the work of Charles & Henry Greene. It's the only photo in the book for which the credit includes a tribute.

    David Mathias

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