Ahead of the Curve


At 23, and recently outed to her family by her angry ex-husband and subsequently homeless in San Francisco, Franco Stevens had an epiphany: she wanted to create a glossy magazine specifically for lesbians. She maxed out as many credit cards as she could get her hands on, took the money to the track, and bet on race after race, picking winners all day. "It was like God was a lesbian," she recalls. And so Deneuve was born - a name that may or may not be attributable to Tony Scott’s The Hunger, but which the French actress belatedly sued over, leading to an abrupt makeover as, simply, Curve.

This thoroughly engaging doc leafs through the back history of this groundbreaking publication, reminding us that only 30 years ago Martina Navratilova was pretty much the only "out" celebrity, advertisers didn’t want anything to do with it, and putting the word "lesbian" on the cover was considered commercial suicide. A lot has changed, and those seismic shifts in the way we think about gender and sexuality are registered in this thoughtful film. To what degree Curve played a role in creating that change is difficult to quantify, but it’s clear that for many the magazine was not just a lifestyle accessory but a veritable life-changer.

"Accomplished, resonant and deeply moving." Indoo Kang, Hollywood Reporter

"Important, entertaining and balanced." Andrew Parker, The Gate

Director Icon Director
Jen Rainin, Rivkah Beth Medow (co-director)

Franco Stevens, Kim Katrin, Amber Hikes, Denice Frohman
Executive Producer Lindsey Dryden, Marga Gomez, Tracy Lords, Kiyomi McCloskey
Producer Rivkah Beth Medow, Jen Rainin
Screenwriter Jen Rainin, Jess Congdon, Rivkah Beth Medow, Sara St. Martin Lynne
Cinematographer Svetlana Cvetko, Clare Major
Editor Jessica Congdon
Music Meshell Ndegeocello
USA 2020 97 min. 19+ Trailer | Official Website

This film has Closed Captioning.


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