Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Hill, Michael R. 1992. Review of Aspen, a documentary film by Frederick Wiseman. Teaching Sociology 20 (2): 178-179.


Copyright 1992 Michael R. Hill


Frederick Wiseman's most recent documentary was heralded in the New York Times (December 29, 1991, pp. 27,36) with considerable fanfare, but for this reviewer Aspen is a sociological disappointment. Wiseman's unusually keen documentary grip on the subtleties and institutional complexities of Western society has momentarily slipped in his presentation of the collage of institutionally disjointed images offered in Aspen. Visually excavating the social nexus of community life as a whole is a worthy objective for filmmakers of Wiseman's stature and experience, but sociology instructors who hope that Aspen might serve as an institutionally sophisticated community study will have to look elsewhere.