French philosopher Bernard Stiegler inscribes himself in the tradition of critical theory. In this respect, the influence of Adorno and Horkheimer has been crucial to the development of his own understanding of cinema. Yet Stiegler reproaches his predecessors for not having stressed enough the positive virtues of cinema on culture. For Stiegler the industry of cinema is not simply a menace to the human mind, but a positive medium for its reinvention. It is in that sense that cinema is pharmacological, insofar as it can be either spiritually and culturally enhancing or destructive, depending on how it is acted on. As the article concludes, Stiegler's pharmacology of cinema invites us to take part in our cinematic cultural becoming through the revival of the figure of the amateur. But it does so at the risk of cultural snobbery. While Stiegler does not condemn the cinematic medium per se, he does express clear reservations on the potential of commercial cinema, the pharmacological critique of which remains to be thought.

You do not currently have access to this content.