Warm Bodies PG

Head and shoulders shot of a young man standing in the rain. He has the look of a zombie - his skin has a grey/bluish tinge and his eyes are red..
22 February
Arc Cinema
Free (bookings essential)
Dir: Jonathan Levine, PG, United States, 2013, 98mins, DCP,

‘There's a lot of ways to get to know a person. Eating her dead boyfriend's brains is one of the more unorthodox methods, but...’ 

What zombie through yonder window breaks? 

Warm Bodies is a 2013 zombie romantic comedy film directed by Jonathan Levine and based on the 2010 novel by Isaac Marion. The film loosely traces the story of William Shakespeare's 16th century tragedy, Romeo and Juliet – with a twist. 

Romeo is 'R' (Nicholas Hoult), a (quite literally) heartless zombie. On meeting Julie (Teresa Palmer) – a living human – R's heart begins to change. The film explores adaptation and genre-mashing while also offering a unique representation of a potent symbol in western culture: the heart.

Throughout the centuries, literary, cultural and medical discourse has reinforced the heart as a critical organ, a sign of life, a symbol of identity, humanity and a means of representing the self. The heart is central to human ontology; a vital organ and a pervasive metaphor.

Through its mashup of zombified classic romantic tragedy, Warm Bodies examines the dual meanings of the heart as a sign of life and as an emotional centre – as we will explore in conversation with heart experts!   


Dr Claire Hansen is a Lecturer in English at the Australian National University. She is co-founder of the Heart of the Matter health humanities research project which explores interdisciplinary representations of the heart. She also works on place-based approaches to Shakespeare. Her forthcoming book is Shakespeare and Place-Based Learning (Cambridge University Press). 

Dr Katharina Bonzel is a Lecturer at the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences interested in national-transnational cinema, genre films (in particular sport and action films), documentary, and gender in film and television. 

Dr Nicole Freene, Associate ProfessorPhysiotherapy; Member, ACT Heart Foundation Local Advisory Board. Nicole has worked as a physiotherapist in a number of different hospital settings in Australia and the UK such as acute and rehabilitation, public and private, urban and rural, as well as in primary health care. Her background is mainly in rehabilitation, with a more recent focus on cardiac rehabilitation. Nicole continues to work clinically in an acute hospital setting. Dr Freene has a strong interest in the primary and secondary prevention of chronic disease and increasing the population's physical activity levels, particularly in middle-aged adults. Her current research focuses on increasing physical activity levels and decreasing sedentary behaviour in adults, both in healthy and cardiac populations. Nicole finished her PhD and joined the academic staff at the University of Canberra in 2014.

This screening is part of the SCIENCE. ART. FILM. series presented by the National Film and Sound Archive, Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science and ANU Humanities Research Centre.



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