Film review of Ahead of the Curve
Franco Stevens changed the world for Lesbians in the early 1990s in ways that people born into a world that supports so much more may not understand. When Deneuve hit the newsstands as a glossy lifestyle mag that served as a cross of Cosmopolitan meets Time meets Rolling Stone. For LESBIANS!
Whether the magazine was named after one of the sexiest stars of the film–EVER, is apocryphal. The magazine changed its name to Curve in 1996 in response to a trademark infringement suit, and the magazine took OFF!
This film is written and directed by Jen Rainin and is an unflinching look at Stevens’ early life and the circumstances that annealed her put the steel in her spine that led to creating the most widely read, successful lesbian magazine. In. The. World.
Now, in 2021, where we are beginning to emerge from the specter of COVID, we are hungry for the stories of marginalized people that have yet to be told. And as queer as our world is now, this is one of those stories.
Rainin’s film is a time capsule. For those of us who were young up-and-coming dykes in the early 90s, it is a sometimes joyous and other time a mordant reminder of a Golden Age. For those who came out a bit more recently (a LOT more recently), it is a gimlet-eyed look at what the world was like when there was no such thing as a magazine that had the word “Lesbian” on the cover.
There are lots of influential queer women featured. Keep a pen hand—you’ll want to watch this at least twice through. If you get choked up a bit at times, no one can see you. That’s what clean cotton pocket hankies are for!
Watch Ahead of the Curve to learn just how far ahead Franco’s radical act truly was. And how the founders of the magazine help determine how to move forward 30 years later to keep Curve ahead.