Wednesday, July 06, 2011
"Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman" is about an architectural photographer, for a change
There have been several documentaries about architects (like "My Architect" and "Sketches of Frank Gehry"), but “Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman” chronicles the life and career of the architectural photographer (1910-2009, a life of 99 years). The film emphasizes brisk black-and-white stills of the southern California scene as it came of age in the 40s and 50s. But he resented the abuse of the concept of modernism. He once said that “post-modernism is to modernism as female impersonation is to femininity”. I don’t think you would say that about post-romanticism.
The 2008 documentary does talk about his influence on Frank Lloyd Wright and shows the Wright house SE of Pittsburgh, as well as Frank Gehry (with some shots of the NY Guggenheim and the Los Angeles Philharmonic concert hall). I visited the Wright house in 1995 myself, and the Guggenheim in Bilbao in 2001.
The film is from Art House and DVD from Video Media. The director is Eric Baker.
The official site is here.
Wikipedia attribution link for Guggenheim Bilbao photo