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Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist on DVD in November

3 October 2012

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.

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.

Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist will be released on UK DVD by the BFI on 5th November 2012 at the RRP of £19.99.

Presented fully uncut and uncensored for the first time, the special features are:

  • 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

Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist is also screening during the Uncut! season at BFI Southbank on Tue 6th Nov 20:40 in NFT2 and on Sun 11 Nov 18:20 in NFT3

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 1st to 30th 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.