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Adapt This: “An Elegy For Amelia Johnson”

an elegy for amelia johnson

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With Hollywood turning more of its attention to the world of graphic novels for inspiration, I’ll cast the spotlight on a new comic book each week that has the potential to pack a theater or keep you glued to your television screens. At the end of some “Adapt This” columns, you’ll also find thoughts from various comic creators and other industry experts about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.


This Week’s Book: An Elegy For Amelia Johnson by Andrew Rostan, Dave Valeza, and Kate Kasenow (Archaia Entertainment)

The Premise: Two people embark on a cross-country trek as a last request for their dying friend, delivering messages to various people who meant something to her during her life. As the two strangers journey from one destination to the next, they learn more than they ever expected to about their friend, and each other — and begin to suspect the real reasons they’re each making the trip.

The Pitch: Equal parts cross-country travelogue and compelling drama about seeing your life through the eyes of others, An Elegy For Amelia Johnson is the sort of awards-friendly story that inspires its audience and wins over critics. In the hands of a capable screenwriter who can bring the story from page to screen, there’s a lot of potential for a film that’s more than just a tear-jerking farewell to the main characters’ cancer-stricken friend — there’s a story here about two people who couldn’t be more different, thrown together for an unfortunate reason, who learn as much about themselves during the journey as they do about their friend.

A movie based on Amelia Johnson would give a pair of talented lead actors lots of room to explore the full spectrum of emotions, and there’s ample opportunity for the supporting cast to shine, too. Of the two main characters, one is a successful filmmaker who brings along his crew to film their cross-country mission, so there’s a nice chance to develop those characters a little more than they were in the book.

And despite the serious nature of the story, there’s actually quite a bit of flexibility in how a potential adaptation could be played, too. It’s easy to envision an Amelia Johnson adaptation with a quirky, Wes Anderson-style approach to their journey, peppering the pathos with humor, or it could just as easily be a straight-up, serious drama about the nature of life and love.

Given the movie-within-a-movie storyline of An Elegy For Amelia Johnson, the option is there to give the film a unique feel by using scenes from the road-trip film being developed by the main character as segues between chapters of the actual movie. In fact, there are many different ways a director could use the movie being created within the movie to set an Amelia Johnson adaptation apart from other films with a similar theme.

The Closing Argument: An Elegy For Amelia Johnson writer Andrew Rostan has done a wonderful job of mixing humor, sobering drama, and an optimistic exploration of life and death in this graphic novel, and the right combination of screenwriter and director should find a strong foundation for a great film here. The plot encourages its characters to change and evolve in a short amount of time, which is one of the key ingredients of a good film — and a good story in a any medium, really. All of that means that it shouldn’t be too difficult to bring the story to life on the screen, and with careful attention paid to how it gets there, it wouldn’t be surprising to see an adaptation of An Elegy For Amelia Johnson earn a few awards along the way.


Would “An Elegy For Amelia Johnson” make a good movie? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…