We’re all used to warnings and promos ahead of films, from candy-filled ”let’s all go to the lobby” sequences to a polite-yet-firm reminder to power phones off. Sometimes, those sequences get a cute touch-up (my favorite is probably this wild, vulgar parody from the Aqua Teen Hunger Force film), but starting this week, moviegoers can expect something a little darker—as in, a harrowing warning that sounds like it might have been written by Edward Snowden.
It wasn’t, however. Instead, the message was written, and is delivered, by Snowden film director and script co-writer Oliver Stone.
The Oscar winner appears in the one-minute clip, seated in a lovely den—complete with decadent furniture and giant bottles of assumedly fine liquors—with a smartphone in his hand. He starts describing the many things “this amazing little device” can do, from mass communication to cat-video streaming (and we’re shown a few kitties briefly to make the point).
“That’s not all it does,” Stone says as the background music turns darker and the camera begins rapidly jumping between angles. “It allows certain parties to track your every move every time you make a call or send a text. We are giving them access. The information you’ve put out into the world voluntarily is enough to burn your life to the ground. This will be our undoing.”
After giving credence to anybody who might doubt his “dramatic” statement, Stone turns the statement back to filmgoers who will see his warning at cinemas starting this week: ”Do the rest of the people in the audience a big favor: turn off your phone during the movie.” Following that, a narrator insists that filmgoers are “welcome to turn your phone back on after the …