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If you could be a video game character, who would that be?

If you could be a video game character, who would that be?

There’s a game called Tempest, which is an old arcade game, and I would be the weird spider thing going along the top, shooting at the aliens.

What about tech in your life. Are you addicted to a piece of tech? No, I’m kind of separate from it. I’ve never been on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook or any of that stuff. My kids do it. I come to all these things late.

I actually think I need to get up to speed with it more. It’s not a judgment, but there is stuff about it that scares me. I don’t like public crucifixions. And I’m really sick of hearing about it on the media. If I was on Twitter, I’d be dead. I’d be crucified. I make mistakes and I change my mind the next day. And I find the rush to judgment kind of sickening and also banal. Kind of banal and boring. I’m truly, truly tired of it, and I don’t want to be part of it. I feel anxious about my children being part of it. But what am I gonna do, because that’s the way of the world.

Self-driving cars — good or bad? It depends if they crash and kill someone. Let’s broadly say good as long as nobody gets hurt.

What tech do you wish were never invented? Nothing. I’m not anti-technology. I’m scared of its applications but technology itself I think is neutral.

What do you think of Silicon Valley? It scares me because I’m left wing and old-fashioned in some respects and what I see is very, very powerful corporations without much oversight. Government correctly has checks and balances built into it, and I don’t see the checks and balances here. I see capitalism, and capitalism is dangerous. Capitalism is more dangerous than tech. I believe in regulation, and so it scares me. I don’t trust it. It’s unelected. I don’t believe that purchasing a product is equivalent to election. It is a different thing. You can un-elect someone later. You can’t un-elect the corporation. So, I feel wary.

Aside from social media, is there something that stands out that you think tech has done wrong? It’s not the social media, it’s the way it’s used. It’s people being kind of crude, acting like a mob. That’s not the media, that’s the behavior of the people within the media. It’s people not being forgiving in the way that we are when the person is standing in front of us.

Have tech companies done stuff wrong? Yeah, of course, I’m sure they have. Every corporation, every person has. That may be the point. I’m not talking about it in those terms. I’m saying power is dangerous. Tech companies are powerful, therefore, they need some kind of regulation.

“Annihilation” is a thought-provoking movie and people are going to have expectations for it having seen “Ex Machina.” What do you want people to say after they walk out? I’d be grateful if they went in the first place. If they walked out feeling that it was a kind of visceral, thought-provoking experience, that would be ideal. I would say it’s probably a film to see with an open mind and, hopefully, a film that stays with people to some extent. That’s what one always hopes.

Do you let your kids play?

Then I tried to put it in the narratives as much as possible because there is something strange about the way the world is functioning at the moment, where there’s a massive disconnect. There are disconnects everywhere, almost everywhere you look, between people who have and don’t have, or know and don’t know. And one of the areas is science. It’s an increasingly rarefied group, and the knowledge gap is scary and I don’t think helpful. So I guess I try and include it in the narratives I write.

This young kid, Caleb, is set a task. Does this machine have an interior life? It’s a very, very straightforward question. He has asked the question, and the audience has asked the question at the same time. So he, in that respect, is a surrogate for the audience. And at a certain point, the machine stops looking like a machine.

In “Annihilation,” you talked about it as a journey from suburbia to psychedelia. In a literal way, the story starts in suburbia and ends in psychedelia. It was a sort of shorthand on the film, just the way we used to talk about it to each other. And it had a purpose to it as well, because if what you want to do is end in a place that is strange, that is truly strange, the means by which you get there become very important.

Did you have fun making it? No, no, it was a nightmare. It was a truly unpleasant film to work on. It’s just a statement of fact, but I’m very proud of the film. I work in a collective. Some of the people I’ve worked with for 20 years and we worked flat out hard on this and it was a good group of people. Not easy. Not fun, but we ended up with something we collectively felt proud of.

I’d be hung drawn and quartered because glancing thoughts cross my mind and I haven’t thought all of them through

Yeah for sure. I mean me and my son play Destiny in the way that me and my brother used to play Halo. We don’t get stoned because he’s 14, but we enjoy it.

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