Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist
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Top Customer Reviews
I have a very small, miniscule glimpse of what it's like to live in pain on a daily basis. After watching this mans story I realize I have nothing to complain about and so much yet to experience and learn.
I will never want to participate in S&M sexual behavior. I'm just not programmed that way. I didn't, however shudder away from the sights on the screen while Sheree, Bob's lover and partner of 15 years, poked needles through the skin of his scrotum and while Bob hung by his ankles and choked on his disease. He had Cystic Fibrosis. The most difficult part of the documentary was watching him die. It is in your face death, and death of the worst kind. He drowned in his own phlegm and fluids.
But he lived so incredibly hard and his way, with what seemed like no apologies or regrets. This documentary shows a humor of the sickest and smartest kind.
I remember being a young girl, maybe 9 and watching a "Hallmark Movie of the Week". It was called Alex: The Life of a Child. I later found out it was actually based on a book written by her father, Frank Deford. I was so moved by this story and didn't understand at that age why someone as old as me had to die from having a cold. I didn't understand Cystic Fibrosis or what it actually did to the body, but I never forgot the movie or the disease and eventually read the book. When I read about SICK, the documentary, I had to get it. I'm morbid in my own way I suppose. I'm curious about things that a lot of people wouldn't dare read or watch or even talk about, so this was right up my alley. Had I known I was going to become so entranced by Bob I think I would have chosen not to watch. Only because you see this sick but Alive man die...Read more ›
Yes, it's about a guy who hurts himself and lets others hurt him. Yes, it's got some harsh images and scenes in it and there are parts that will make you cringe, but to describe it as "beautiful" is not a run at irony. Calling it beautiful is the sum total of every aspect of "Sick" -- it's impact, his life, his images, and his intentions. With this film, Bob Flanagan achieved the holy grail of modern art: transforming a taboo act/attitude into a sublime and transcendant expression. Wow. An amazing feat, in life or death.
I hope this movie gets the attention it deserves, moreover, the attention that Bob Flanagan deserved. What a brave artist. I sure wish I'd paid more attention to him when I first heard of him and he was still present in the here and now.
One of my least favorite movies of all time contains a line that I often quote: "there are some things the you see, and then you can't unsee them, you know?" (Joaquin Phoenix in 8MM.) Just going to show that even an awful film can have a moment of scripting genius. Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist, contains one of those things. Even if I never see it again, there's a particular scene in this film that will haunt me to my deathbed. It's not just the incredible act that's performed (and if you haven't seen the movie yet, when you stumble upon the scene in question, you will know it), but the way director Kirby [director's name censored for Amazon consumption] puts everything together: the film footage, the incredibly inappropriate music, the foreshadowing. (Flanagan mentions the scene in a few of his monologues earlier in the movie.) This is the third of Kirby [director's name censored for Amazon consumption]'s films I've seen, and the earliest of the three; I expected no less.
[director's name censored for Amazon consumption] here profiles Bob Flanagan, one of the longest-lived sufferers of cystic fibrosis. Flanagan handled his disease by controlling his body the only way he could: through masochism. We alternate scenes from various performance videos with interviews featuring, for the most part, Flanagan and his longtime partner/dominatrix, Sheree Rose. (About two thirds of the way through the film, a third major player enters the picture: Sarah Doucette, a Canadian sufferer of cystic fibrosis who meets Flanagan through the Make-a-Wish Foundation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful, just beautiful, such a stark and intimate portrait of this artist I just am amazed and touched. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Caitlin Woods
essentially this the story of bob who has had an excruciating disease, cf, from birth and the genesis and development of his coping mechanism, masochism... Read morePublished 15 months ago by dawn
As a student, I have been reading topics on psychology and Neuroscience and in Norman Doidge's book, The Brain That Changes Itself, he offers an interesting scientific... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Veronica Vera Chavez
I bought this movie years ago after seeing this guy in the NIN video. It's easy to place judgement on what you see here because of the cover. Read morePublished on April 30, 2011 by Getting The Good Stuff
There's some disturbing images in this film depending on where you're coming from, but an interesting and poignant film, nonetheless.Published on April 4, 2010 by flandog
Man, this movie makes for some truly harsh watching, yet Flanagan is a stunningly fascinating man. It's just hard to believe this is the same man shown in the clip of "The Steve... Read morePublished on January 23, 2006 by Danna F. Copeland
If you are having trouble 'getting wood', just nail some on like Bob does.Published on October 2, 2005 by Mondo Vendo