At an efficient 83 minutes long, Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman is more a primer on the beloved photographer than a comprehensive look at someone who, over the course of six decades, created 260,000 prints, negatives, and transparencies and was the most important archiver of—and advocate for—20th century California architecture. Completed a year before Shulman died this past July, the documentary offers commentary by scholars, architects, friends, and fans, as well as too-fleeting glimpses of the photographer’s work. Its heart, however, is Shulman himself, whose joy for his life calling is manifest. At press time, the film was being screened in Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
Credit: Photographed by Julius Shulman (1960) from Visual Acoustics, an Arthouse Films release 2009, copyright J. Paul Getty Trust