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Acts of Godfrey - review, Johnny Daukes interview 

Back in September 2011, I watched a surprising indie fillum. It was all written in verse - and really quite striking. It was called Acts of Godfrey. And I rather liked it. It was fun and starred lots of folk off TV, like Harry Enfield, Simon Callow and Celia Imrie. I enjoyed the film so much, in fact, my Acts of Godfrey review's in rhyming couplets to match.

And now, you can catch the rhyming bug too because it's coming out in UK cinemas soon. This Friday, if you want to be really pedantic, but before you start worrying and getting all frantic, you can see it online (that stuff's all the rage) by visiting the Acts of Godfrey Facebook page.

An enjoyably dark play on fate and folly, the film turns its script into something quite jolly. Why? Not just because the cast is so good, but the director, Johnny Daukes, is talented to boot. He's a writer, musician and filmmaker, you see - he even had a series on BBC 3.

Here's what he said about making the movie when we spoke last September (he seemed very groovy). They shot the film quickly in a real life hotel and though things went wrong, it all turned out quite well. The full Johnny Daukes interview is over here - it includes clip and trailers that will really endear. 


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Acts of Godfrey is one of the most memorable films from this year's Raindance Film Festival. Maybe it's the fact that Simon Callow's in it. Maybe it's because it's written entirely in rhyming couplets. Or maybe it's because its director, Johnny Daukes, is just really talented.

Writing and directing the low-budget black comedy, Daukes got everyone talking in verse for 16 days, and then wrote the soundtrack to go with the film. When I phone him for a chat about his directorial debut, he's busy writing the press notes for the movie.

“It’s like, you know when your nan’s been round, and you finally get rid of her and then she turns up again?” says Daukes about re-reading the screenplay to pick out good quotes to go in the synopsis.

I comment that he obviously means that in a good way. Doesn't he? “Erm, not entirely!”

We go on to chat about Acts of Godfrey and what he's got planned next. Here's what he had to say about filming in a working hotel, chance and fate, and chucking buckets of water over a naked man in a car park.

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Acts of Gofrey - Simon Callow (Raindance)

Acts of Godfrey, in case you don't know, is a rather peculiar sort of a show. The director's a few pence short of a purse, cos he decided to write the whole thing in verse. Not the Iambic Pentameter of Shakespeare, but a string of stanzas that play on the ear. 84 minutes of rhyming couplets? It sounds well annoying but I actually loved it.

Ok, love is a slightly strong word, but any creation that is this absurd, that still manages to tell an intriguing story (alongside its language tricks and its word sorcery) is hard to dislike and not easy to hate - it even tackles the notion of fate.

Vic (Iain Robertson) is a salesperson, who goes on a hotel course in self-assertion, but why is his car clutch in need of repair? And why does he find himself attracted to Mary, Myfanwy Waring's rival (as cruel as she's cute) with hard-selling tactics and nice breasts to boot?

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