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Comic Con day 1: How Pokemon Go is part of a march toward totalitarianism

Oliver Stone warned Thursday that Pokemon Go was part of a march toward “totalitarianism” as the start of San Diego Comic-Con saw filmmakers expound on their political viewpoints.

hollywood Updated: Jul 22, 2016 17:11 IST

Oliver Stone warned Thursday that Pokemon Go was part of a march toward “totalitarianism” as the start of San Diego Comic-Con saw filmmakers expound on their political viewpoints.

The convention, America’s largest and most spectacular pop culture event, is expected to welcome 1,35,000 visitors to feast on all manner of panels, screenings and other fan events and attractions.

During a panel for his new movie Snowden -- about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leak of US government secrets in 2013 -- Stone said the Pokemon Go app was part of a larger culture of “surveillance capitalism.”

Read: Edward Snowden publicly endorses the Snowden movie at Comic Con

“They’re data-mining every person in this room for information as to what you’re buying, what it is you like, and above all, your behaviour,” he said.

The location-based augmented reality game became an overnight sensation on its release earlier this month, although it has been criticized for requesting users’ Google browsing history and email.

Three-time Oscar winner Stone, 69, said Pokemon Go “kicks into” the surveillance culture and was “everywhere.”

“It’s what some people call surveillance capitalism. It’s the newest stage,” he said.

“You’ll see a new form of, frankly, a robot society, where they will know how you want to behave and they will make the mock-up that matches how you behave and feed you. It’s what they call totalitarianism.”

The centre of the four-day Comic-Con convention is the 6,500-seat Hall H, where big-name stars drop by to promote their films and TV shows.

Alec Baldwin attends The Boss Baby panel on day 1 of Comic-Con International. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Hollywood veteran Alec Baldwin revealed to an audience of around 4,000 in the hall that Republican Donald Trump’s campaign for the US presidency had set the Baldwin family at loggerheads.

“I have one brother at the Republican convention. It’s okay -- my other brother is there protesting Trump,” said the actor, who was promoting “Boss Baby,” an animated film about an infant who turns out to be a cunning businessman who can talk.

“My two brothers are on opposite sides of the political spectrum and I’m here wearing a diaper and telling people what to do,” the eldest Baldwin laughed.

He did not say which of his three brothers was in Cleveland but Stephen Baldwin has been a vocal Trump supporter since appearing on the GOP presidential candidate’s TV reality show, The Apprentice.

The 50-year-old, who starred in The Usual Suspects, has been giving supportive interviews from the Republican National Convention this week.

The anti-Trump brother is almost certainly Backdraft actor William Baldwin, who took part in a march in Cleveland on Tuesday condemning police shootings of African-Americans.

DreamWorks opened the Hall H program with exclusive footage from forthcoming animated film Trolls, putting up its voiceover stars Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake.

Trolls, which opens on November 4, tells the story of a happy community of the mythical beings which is abducted by giant, depressive monsters called Bergens.

The 16 minutes of footage included Kendrick’s renditions of Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence and Get Back Up Again, an original song penned by Timberlake.

Producer Gina Shay said it was important that the film contributed to girls having a positive body image.

“We broke every princess rule in the book on this one and we kept the troll shapes round, shoeless, a princess who’s shoeless,” she said.

“My daughter is 11, she has a really powerful mind and I’d rather have her using it to be imaginative instead of obsessing in the mirror -- because all girls are beautiful.”

So much love @lucbesson @danedehaan @valerianmovie #ComicCon 😍

A video posted by Cara Delevingne (@caradelevingne) on

Next up in Hall H, French director Luc Besson got a standing ovation after showing off scenes from his latest film project, sci-fi fantasy Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

“It’s a French comic people don’t know as much, but I think that they will have a lot to look forward to,” the Fifth Element director enthused about the movie, which debuts next year.

“This is such a rich story with so many amazing characters. It’s going to be a lot to see.”

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