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Ahead of the Curve

Country: USA, Language: English, 97 mins

  • Director: Jen Rainin, Rivkah Beth Medow
  • Producer: Rivkah Beth Medow

CGiii Comment

It's always a little frustrating when filmmakers pounce on a great subject...and then, like sand, lets it slip through their fingers. A bit like...they couldn't see the wood from the trees.

In their defence, they didn't entirely miss the point...but, good grief, they certainly littered their film with issues that really weren't important. Identity. Who's fed up hearing about how people identify!?! Queer is an offensive word, especially for gay men of a certain age...whether it's reclaimed or not, it's still and will always remain offensive. The rather startling conclusion regarding that word is, jaw drop, a preferred label for women who don't like the word lesbian! WTF! Too much time is spent on this mind-numbing, petty issue.

Let's get to the titan herself...Franco Stevens. What a story she has to tell - unfortunately, she doesn't get to tell it in any detail. Because, when you hear want detail! She was  married [to a man], discovered she liked the ladies, got thrown out, lived in her car, moved to San Francisco, got a job, went to the racetrack, gambled and won [an undisclosed amount] and Deneuve was born! Fantastic, what a story...wait there's more...maxed out multiple credit cards, got sued by - wait for it - Catherine Deneuve, went to loans sharks for her legal fees...and Deneuve became Curve...sold it due to injury and chronic pain...and the rest is the decline of the magazine.

The reason for the decline...the new owner took the word 'lesbian' off of the front cover, what a silly thing to do! But, in our digital age, publishers have had it hard...due to the stubbornness to day there will be no such thing as hard copy magazines and newspapers - if you don't evolve, you will get eaten.

The same can be said about this film...without detail it becomes cursory...the devil is in the detail. This is a [too] simplistic rendering of a fantastic story. No, correction, this is not a story...this is history, our history. And, unlike historians mulling and arguing over details, these filmmakers rendered the story in black and white...when it should have been in glorious technicolor!



The(ir) Blurb...

With a fist full of credit cards, a lucky run at the horse track, and a title that called to mind a certain French film star, Franco Stevens launched the best-selling lesbian lifestyle magazine ever published, connecting her community in an unprecedented way. AHEAD OF THE CURVE is a new feature documentary about the extraordinary woman who started Curve magazine, and by doing so helped accelerate the political and social evolution of the nation.

Cast & Characters

Franco Stevens
Jewelle Gomez
Kate Kendell