Movie theaters are always looking for new ways to make sure that people shut their phones off so that they don't start making noise in the middle of the movie. Often, they try to use humor. Oliver Stone has a different strategy, abject terror. The director of the new film, Snowden, doesn't ask you to turn your phone off because it will annoy people. He wants you to do it so that "they" will stop collecting data about your life. He's certainly convincing us to turn our phones off. In fact, we may never turn them back on again.
The clip is both terrifying and hilarious. First Oliver Stone tells us about all the wonderful things that our cell phones can do for us, then he transitions into all of the reasons that we should be afraid of them. Ultimately, the ad before your movie starts is meant to be humorous, yet, it's clear that Oliver Stone truly believes everything that he is saying. If you find yourself scared of your cell phone after watching this, we don't blame you one bit. Stone is known for his films dealing with conspiracies and other controversial topics involved in American politics. He's the perfect person to front this ad.
Of course, the other thing that these anti-cell phone spots do is advertise movies. In this case, Oliver Stone is doing this to promote Snowden, his film about CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked classified documents dealing with the American surveillance program, which included a lot of new information regarding, of course, telecommunications wiretaps.The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the title role.
Certainly, we all know that our lives are just that much more visible today than they were just a few years ago. Between the information that we put out willingly on social media, and the information that we don't, just by being online, it's certainly true that the ubiquitous "they" can certainly track our every move if they wish to. Between this ad, and Snowden itself, it will be interesting to see if it has any impact on the way people treat their devices.
Has Oliver Stone scared you into turning off your cell phone, at least for the duration of the movie? We're going to go check our settings and make sure that we're not letting too much information out there unintentionally. Snowden hits theaters September 16.