Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

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antnield
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
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Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

#1 Post by antnield » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:03 am

Uncut re-release on November 5th.
Bob Flanagan was an American performance artist, stand-up comic, poet, and a lifelong sufferer of cystic fibrosis. He was also a masochist, who found that his S&M experiences helped him manage the pain of his illness.

Kirby Dick's internationally acclaimed, award-winning 1997 film follows Bob and his wife, Sheree Rose, through the last years of Flanagan's life. It is a deeply moving, often hilarious profile of a unique artist, giving an insight into Flanagan's warmth, courage and sense of humour.

This new BFI DVD edition presents the complete, fully uncensored version of a truly astonishing film that was previously cut by the BBFC for its 2002 DVD release.

Mathew2468
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Re: Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

#2 Post by Mathew2468 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:01 pm

This is some hardcore shit I hear. Nailing his wiener to a board, hanging from hooks, and his real death which is apparently pretty hard too watch.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

#3 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:04 pm

I am still afraid to watch this film, which is a distinction that it only shares with How to Die in Oregon, which I could only watch about 10 minutes of before shutting it off. Something about watching people die with self-awareness in real time, I just can't handle it.

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MichaelB
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Re: Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

#4 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:09 pm

I've had a checkdisc of The Animals Film for years now, and I probably should steel myself to watch it because its historical importance (not least in the history of campaigning documentary filmmaking) is undeniable, but...

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colinr0380
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Re: Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

#5 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:11 pm

It is quite a gruelling watch, even without the penis nailing scene that was removed from the previous BFI DVD version, but it is interesting to see someone making a performance art statement out of their illness, and I suppose masochistically causing pain to himself could have helped him feel as if there was greater control over, or at least management of, the symptoms of the illness. As if he was assimilating the fact of the disease into his life in a way.

Flanagan was also featured in a notorious, much banned Nine Inch Nails video (very NSFW!)

EDIT: Speaking of which, the music video for Anvil by Lorn feels very influenced by Happiness In Slavery.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:46 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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zedz
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Re: Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

#6 Post by zedz » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:58 pm

Obviously this is a tough watch, but I found it much easier to take than, say, a lot of animal cruelty footage, because Flanagan's agency is front and centre. He's anything but a victim. And it's a fine documentary, incidentally.

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MichaelB
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Re: Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

#7 Post by MichaelB » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:36 am

Full specs announced:
SICK
The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist
A film by Kirby Dick

Bob Flanagan was an American performance artist, stand-up comic, poet and lifelong sufferer from cystic fibrosis. He was also a masochist who found that his S&M experiences helped him manage the pain of his illness. Kirby Dick’s internationally acclaimed, award-winning documentary follows Flanagan through the last years of his life. Released on 5 November, this is Sick fully uncut and uncensored for the first time on DVD, with extensive special features.

Bob Flanagan met his perfect dominatrix partner in Sheree Rose, and married her in 1982 while she hung him upside down from the ceiling (as Flanagan wryly comments during one of his shows, ‘You always hurt the one you love’).

Originally, three-and-a-half minutes were cut from ‘two scenes showing strong sadomasochistic activity… which,’ according to the BBFC, ‘would be highly dangerous if copied’. After a recent resubmission to the Board, these cuts have since been reinstated.

Sick is a deeply moving, often hilarious, profile of a unique artist, giving an insight into Flanagan’s warmth, courage and, especially, his sense of humour.

Special features
• Presented fully uncut and uncensored for the first time;
Dick on Sick (Kirby Dick, 1997, 8 mins): the director reflects on his experience of making Sick;
Sara’s Sick Too (Kirby Dick, 15 mins): short film revisiting Sara, a fellow cystic fibrosis sufferer who meets Bob through the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Sick;
• Feature length audio commentary by Kirby Dick and editor Dody Doran
• Live performances with director introductions
• Deleted scenes with director introductions
• Original soundtrack
• Original trailer
• Illustrated booklet featuring new essays from Patricia MacCormack (author of Cinesexuality) and Murray Perkins, Senior Examiner at the BBFC; biographies and credits

Product details
RRP: £19.99 / cat. no. BFIVD877 / Cert 18
US / 1997 / colour and black & white / English, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles / 90 mins / Original aspect ratio 1:33:1 / DVD9 / PAL / Dolby Digital mono audio (320 kbps)
...and some supplemental info:
To mark the centenary of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) in 2012, BFI Southbank presents Uncut!, a season of films which have been either banned or censored in the last century of cinema, curated by critic Mark Kermode and Professor in Film Studies at Southampton University Linda Ruth Williams. Taking place from 1 to 30 November 2012, this season will give film fans a chance to see some of the most contentious films ever made in their complete version on the big screen and will aim to illustrate how the BBFC’s attitudes to confrontational material have changed over the years.

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antnield
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Re: Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

#8 Post by antnield » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:50 am

The BBFC has just classified the extras. That's a full 63 minutes worth, excluding the audio commentary.

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MichaelB
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Re: Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

#9 Post by MichaelB » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:57 am

Judging from my checkdisc, most if not all of the film was shot on SD video, so a Blu-ray would have been pointless.

And SD was more than detailed enough for some of the footage, very much including the sequence that originally got censored. I'm involuntarily crossing my legs just thinking about it!

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zedz
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Re: Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

#10 Post by zedz » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:22 pm

Oh yes. This would probably be near the top of my list of films I'd never want to see in high definition.

(Thanks for the memories, Michael!)

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gcgiles1dollarbin
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Re: Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

#11 Post by gcgiles1dollarbin » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:24 pm

It would have been nice to involve some of the editors and writers of RE/Search, if only to spend time considering the "modern primitive" angle, and the influence Flanagan had, through this publisher, on fashion and sexuality often theorized as "cyborg," "gender performativity," "posthuman," etc. I wonder if images from the original book will appear in the extras; I don't recall if there were any in the documentary.

I thought Flanagan's spirit (even when he was feeling bitter) was an exhilarating experience, not depressing in the slightest. Oddly, the only moment that gave me pause (and nearly the dry heaves) was seeing his lung fluid kept by Sheree Rose in a container. Imagining Flanagan fighting for breath around all of that... What a terrible, merciless illness!

Mathew2468
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Re: Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

#12 Post by Mathew2468 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:52 pm

Sister of a friend of mine had cystic fibrosis, and had a risky lung transplant at 23 years or so. Merciless, yes, I remember she always had some complicated puffer thing.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

#13 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:15 pm

As an asthmatic, every time I aspirate the tiniest amount of water I a.) feel like I'm dying and b.) hate and feel betrayed by my body. I honestly can't imagine what living with that all the time must be like.

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antnield
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Re: Sick: The Life and Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

#14 Post by antnield » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:11 am


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