Star of Good, Viggo Mortensen praises the Hungarian shoot

By Laszlo Kriston

    An adaptation of the C. P. Taylor 1981 play, the Hungarian filmed Good will receive its European premiere at the upcoming Rome Film Festival starting next week (www.romacinemafest.it).

    A moral drama about a professor's collaboration in Nazi Germany, the $15 million British-German co-production used Budapest locations to double 1930s Berlin and Germany, with an additional scene shot at Lake Balaton.

    "Budapest looks like the period Berlin more than anywhere else, as Berlin was bombed to rubble. Budapest influenced the look of the film, it was helpful for us as a place. We had very good Hungarian crew. It was meticolously done. There is a lot of history there," the film's star Viggo Mortensen told FNE in Toronto. "The city is homey, and its gardens -- I loved the chestnut trees."

    Brazilian-born director, Vicente Amorim is also nothing but praise of the production values Hungary had to offer. "The decision to shoot in Hungary was a collective decision. From a producer's stand point, shooting in Hungary had a financial advantage also. But that was not really why we chose Budapest. It wouldn't be relevant if the city didn't look right. We were even trying to get cinematographer Lajos Koltai (Mephisto, Max), but he was unavailable." He added that Hungarian Istvan Szabo's Oscar-winning 1981 movie, Mephisto served as a key artistic and visual inspiration for the thematically similar Good.

    The film was co-produced by London-based Good Film Ltd. (www.goodthefilm.com) and Germany's Miromar Entertainment AG (www.miromar-films.com). Hungarian co-producers were Kornel Sipos (White Palms, I Spy, Napoleon, Men Don't Lie) and Zsofia Kende of LaurinFilm (www.laurinfilm.hu). Odd Lot International handles worldwide sales on the film.

    The production employed around 80 local talents. Among the creative principals of the crew several were appointed from Hungary: Emmy Award winner Gyorgyi Szakacs acted as costume designer, art direction was done by Adrienn Asztalos, and Erzsebet Forgacs headed the make up department. The film shot for 49 days in May and June 2007.