Arts & Culture

Ivy Film semester opens with ‘warm’ zombie rom-com

Jonathan Levine ’00 hosts Q&A on new film to inform and advise aspiring filmmakers

Staff Writer
Friday, January 25, 2013

The Ivy Film Festival is kicking off the new semester with an advanced screening of the film “Warm Bodies” followed by a question-and-answer session with director Jonathan Levine ’00 Sunday.

Levine’s film is a romantic comedy with a twist — the drop-dead gorgeous protagonist is replaced with an undead zombie. Based on Isaac Marion’s novel by the same title, the film takes place in a world caught in the midst of a zombie apocalypse and tells the tale of a zombie whose love for a human begins to restore his humanity.

R, the zombie protagonist played by Nicholas Hoult, first meets his human love interest, Julie, played by Teresa Palmer, after killing her boyfriend and eating his brains, causing him to absorb all of her boyfriend’s memories and thus fall in love with her. As R and Julie make their way back to a band of human survivors, R becomes more and more human as his love for Julie deepens. But set against Julie’s disapproving father, played by John Malkovich, the couple must fight to stay together and bring R completely back to life.

IFF chose “Warm Bodies” not only to take students’ minds off the cold, but also because the co-directors of the festival, Evan Sumortin ’12.5 and Mahima Chawla ’13, said the Q&A would encourage student filmmakers to ask questions and learn about the industry.

“Jonathan Levine is a Brown alum who’s been successful in the film world,” Sumortin said. “[He] can give us a really great perspective on what it’s like to be a young filmmaker.”

“Warm Bodies” is not the only event IFF has in store for this semester. IFF will show “The Interpreters” — a film about urban violence — as part of its Stories for Change series Feb. 6.

“The point of the Stories for Change series is to show films that inspire some sort of change or thought or action,” Chawla said.

The festival itself — a series of screenings, workshops, question-and-answer sessions and lectures with the goal to both educate and entertain — will take place April 8-14.

“The point of the week is for student filmmakers to showcase their films, meet other filmmakers and meet industry guests,” Chawla said, adding that the organization hopes to assemble a master class for aspiring filmmakers, featuring industry guests.

The screening will be held at the Martinos Auditorium in the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts , and free tickets for the event will be distributed at 3:00 p.m. today in J. Walter Wilson. Limited tickets will also be available at the event.

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