Chris Sivertson makes bad movies but writes cool e-mails

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See what I mean about the k.d. lang thing?

My pal Scott Weinberg wrote something for Cinematical the other day where he was talking about Chris Sivertson, the director of the recent Lindsay Lohan fiasco “I Know Who Killed Me.” In the course of this, he mentioned that Sivertson’s last film, “The Lost,” premiered at South By Southwest last year, and I realized: I totally saw that movie! And I totally hated it!

I had glanced at Sivertson’s IMDB page while writing my review of “I Know Who Killed Me,” but “The Lost” is a rather nondescript title, and it didn’t register that I had seen it. It wasn’t until Scott mentioned the SXSW connection that my brain caught up.

And then I realized that I once corresponded with Sivertson! And he was kind of cool!

In my 2006 SXSW Film Festival Diary (Day 5), I said this about “The Lost”:

it was an atrocious piece of crap, without question the worst thing I’ve seen at the festival so far. It’s a horror film, sort of, about a young sociopath in the style of “American Psycho’s” Patrick Bateman who kills a couple women and then, four years later, flips out again. But in the meantime, there’s a whole lot of nothing. The film keeps introducing characters and spending scenes with them for no reason, and the lead psycho’s psyche is given only a cursory glance. (He hates his mother, obviously, and has to help her run a Bates-esque motel.) Also, with his cowboy boots, big belt buckle, sleeveless T-shirt, and slick black hair, he looks like k.d. lang, which you’ll probably agree is never a good thing for a lead actor.

Later in the diary, I mentioned “The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael” and said, “The people who made ‘The Lost’ should be grateful for this movie: Because of it, ‘The Lost’ is no longer the worst thing I saw at SXSW.”

About a week later, I got this e-mail:

Hi Eric,

I just stumbled on your mini-review of my movie THE LOST from SXSW and loved it! Thanks! I have to admit I’m a little disappointed that you ended up seeing a movie at the festival that you hated more, but hell, second place ain’t bad. The website is very cool. Thanks for writing about the movie!

Best,

Chris Sivertson

Isn’t that terrific? I may have hated his movie (and boy did I), but no complaints about the guy himself. Here’s what I wrote back to him:

Hey Chris —

Thanks for the e-mail. “The Lost” didn’t work for me, but hey, best of luck with it. Thanks for not being a douche and for having an “all publicity is good publicity” attitude. Gotta have a thick skin in this business, right?

Take care,
Eric

(The most noteworthy thing, to me, about that reply is my use of the word “douche” to mean “jerk.” I didn’t realize I was using that term as early as March 2006 — I thought it was just within the past few months — but apparently I was.)

So Sivertson has made two really bad movies so far, but he seems like a nice guy. And that counts for something!

One alarming postscript, however: I never bothered writing a formal review of “The Lost.” It was terrible, and I didn’t think it would ever see the light of day again anyway. But now Scott’s article mentions that it might finally get a theatrical release. If it does, I’ll probably have to review it — and that means, since I saw it over a year ago and I don’t remember it very well and my notes are inadequate, that I will have to watch it again. So Sivertson may emerge the victor after all.

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