Joe McGovern
August 03, 2016 AT 04:30 PM EDT

“Think I’m being dramatic?” asks director Oliver Stone in this new PSA about cell phone surveillance — with a twist.

If you only know Stone as the maker of solemn dramas about the Vietnam War (he’s won Oscars for Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July) and gripping, conspiracy-theory treatises on American politics (JFK, Nixon), then you might not know that he also possesses a playful sense of humor.

You can see it in his self-deprecating cameo in the Kevin Kline comedy Dave. Or in this twisted sitcom satire featuring Rodney Dangerfield in Natural Born Killers. Or especially in the lighter, flakier tone of his latest movies, including the Bush biopic W. and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

 

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His newest film is the stone-cold serious thriller Snowden, based on the revelations of the eponymous NSA whistle-blower (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt). In the one-minute clip above, which is scheduled to begin playing in theaters this weekend, Stone advocates for his movie message. “The information you put out into the world voluntarily,” he snarls, “is enough to burn your life to the ground.”

But his message also includes a cat video and an admonition against something that’s almost as troubling as unconstitutional supervision. Almost.

Snowden opens on Sept. 16. Check out the trailer below.

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