The Modernism of Julius Shulman

Posted by Alex

Visual Acoustics is a documentary about architectural photographer Julius Shulman. It’s been touring the country since July of last year, when it premiered in Los Angeles, and just recently won an award for Best Documentary Feature at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. I guess it’s not hard to believe; mix photography, modern architecture, and film together and you have an unbeatable combination! Shulman’s work epitomizes architectural photography, and it would be fascinating to hear him talk about it and get an in-depth look into his world. I just watched the trailer and it really does look amazing. I just wish they would have a screening in San Francisco…

Anyone seen this yet?

Populating his photos with human models and striking landscapes, Shulman combined the organic with the synthetic, melding nature with revolutionary urban design. The resulting images helped to shape the careers of some of the greatest architects of the 20th Century…Through the exploration of both Shulman’s art and uniquely individualistic life, Visual Acoustics offers an unforgettable portrait of Modernism’s most eloquent ambassador. [Link]

15 Comments Leave A Comment


baz says:

March 9, 2009 at 3:06 am

Waow, very nice projet and website (though very sad that’s it’s not flash fullscreen…)

Anyone know which is the sweet type used in the site?



faber. says:

March 9, 2009 at 6:10 am


Just checked the Full Frame Doc Fest website (starting in April); unfortunately it won’t be playing. Fortunately, Objectified will be there, so I’ll check that out instead.


Chris Meeks says:

March 9, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Sounds pretty awesome,

Side note, the building in that third picture is the apartment that DeNiro uses in the movie “Heat”.

I always knew he had good taste.


ryan says:

March 12, 2009 at 9:20 am

Showing in Austin on 08 April… I’ll be doing my best to be there. Those Case Study pictures are some of my favorite things in the whole wide world ever.


ryan says:

April 9, 2009 at 8:08 am

Just an update, as I saw this last night:
It was beautiful.

Schulman (who’s pushing 100 years old) is (or was, while they were making this thing; I guess he’s been going downhill pretty fast since late last year. He was originally planning on coming to austin for this showing) still totally vital, energetic, and so alive, endearing, and hilarious. The whole thing was just gorgeous. Beautiful architecture, amazing photography, and even though it’d have been easy to lose yourself in either (or both), what came through most was the human experience of 70 years of well-lived lives intersecting.

See it.


alex says:

April 9, 2009 at 9:22 am

Ryan, that’s awesome you got a chance to see it! I am dying to, but no luck on a CA screening any time soon. I am going to see Objectified on the 19th, so that might hold me over, but your review of this one makes that much more anxious to see it


Megan says:

April 16, 2009 at 7:17 am

Thanks so much for the tip Alex, I was fortunate enough to see it at the Wisconsin film festival a couple of weekends ago and it was fantastic. Julius is inspirational and his work is just gorgeous. Some of the photographs almost brought me to tears. Anyone in love with modernist architecture has got to see this.