If you could have a party and invite anyone, who would it be?
Now, imagine the tea party from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland where, alongside Carroll’s usual suspects, the March Hare – who is no longer hosting, as it’s now my own party! – Alice, the Dormouse and the Hatter. I would also invite Neo, Morpheus and Trinity who will hail in their shiny outfits from the real world of the Matrix. What a great party it would be, with Morpheus suggesting sending the Dormouse to the Oracle to find out why he kept falling asleep, and with Neo explaining to the March Hare that there’s nothing to fear as there’s no such thing as Time and so the Hare couldn’t have murdered it, regardless of what the Queen of Hearts declared.
Alice and Trinity would have a great time, sitting next to each other at the tea table, chatting away about the fun they had jumping from one world to the other, chasing white rabbits and being chased by sun-glassed agents of the System. Then, just when the Hatter starts asking his riddles, as if having all of them at the same table wouldn’t be enough of a riddle, out of thin air, the Cheshire Cat makes her appearance and informs all of us to down our cups of tea and put them back on the shelf as Agent Smith was on his way, ready to smash to smithereens every piece of china clay pottery he would come across. Agent Smith would seem very upset that Neo freed him from the bounds of the Matrix and, above all, that I did not invite him to the party!
What specific genre of books do you like?
I have various intellectual interests, from history to anthropology to linguistics, so I tend to evenly balance the number of non-fiction and fiction books that I read. Recently, I have started reading more and more science fiction, delving into the works of the classics that have established this genre. However, I also read literary fiction, fast paced mysteries, and books of fiction written by expats living in Thailand – which I then review for a Bangkok-based monthly magazine.
What’s your favourite meal?
Although I live in Thailand, I am not a gourmand but I rather believe in what Dozer in The Matrix told Neo during his first “real” meal on the Nebuchadnezzar, after Neo was unplugged from the Matrix. Referring to the rather disgusting-looking goo everyone was eating for breakfast, Dozer explained: “It’s a single celled protein combined with synthetic aminos, vitamins, and minerals. Everything the body needs.” So, as long as my food is healthy, not spicy and doesn’t have a strong smell (another oddity of mine, as Thai food is famous for its spices), I eat anything. Having been brought up in Communist Romania, where food was not something you could pick and choose might also have something to do with me not having any specific favourite food.
What colour represents your personality the most?
My favourite colour is blue, the kind of dark blue you get in the “real world” of The Matrix where the characters are unplugged. I am also attracted by the shade of green distinctive to a monochrome monitor, something I can relate to as I am old enough to remember what the first IBM computers looked like. Green is a colour that has great significance in The Matrix as it symbolizes the world of the machines. The Matrix digital rain, with its falling green code representing the virtual reality of the Matrix, is also on the background of the cover of my intertextual study The Matrix and the Alice Books.
What kind of films do you love to watch?
Apart from the science fiction genre of which The Matrix is part of, I am increasingly interested in Chinese/Hong Kong film productions that succeed in portraying the history of China with a combination of excellent martial arts choreography, costumes faithful to the era described, all based in rather large sets. The fact that most Chinese martial arts flicks end with the death of the heroine and/or the main character, as opposed to the unrealistic happy ending style favoured by Hollywood films, is also something that really fascinates me.
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Genre – Non-Fiction/Movie Studies/Literary Criticism
Rating – G