NO STRAIGHT LINES
Movie poster for documentary "No Straight Lines" by Vivian Kleiman. Man in suit and glasses drawing on wall covered with comics.
NO STRAIGHT LINES
Movie poster for documentary "No Straight Lines" by Vivian Kleiman. Man in suit and glasses drawing on wall covered with comics.
The journeys of five scrappy queer artists from the margins of the underground comics scene to mainstream acceptance

NO STRAIGHT LINES

Regular price $559.00
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QUALIFIED FOR AN OSCAR | WORLD PREMIERE - Tribeca Film Festival | GRAND JURY PRIZE - Outfest

Community • Art, Humor, and Activism • Zines & Graphic Memoirs • Self Representation  Queer History

Date of Completion: 2021 | Run Time: 79 minutes​​ | Language: English with Spanish subtitles available (French and German subtitles coming soon) | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript | Director: Vivian Kleiman | Producers: Vivian Kleiman & Justin Hall

NO STRAIGHT LINES: THE RISE OF QUEER COMICS tells the story of five scrappy and pioneering LGBTQ cartoonists- Alison Bechdel, Jennifer Camper, Howard Cruse, Rupert Kinnard, and Mary Wings- who depicted everything from the AIDS crisis, coming out, same-sex marriage, and themes of race, gender, and disability. The film explores how these trailblazing LGBTQ artists resisted censorship and displayed tremendous courage and conviction in providing an uncensored window into queer lives from the 1970s onward, beginning at a time in which there was no other genuine queer storytelling in popular culture. Equally engaging are their personal journeys, as they helped build a queer comics underground that has been able to grow and evolve in remarkable ways–against all odds. Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Vivian Kleiman weaves together intimate conversations with these foundational artists and younger cartoonists who were inspired by their work, resulting in a rich tapestry of diverse voices and images to explore the power of self-representation. 

Stanford University | Estelle Freedman, Edgar E. Robinson Professor in United States History Emeriti
"No Straight Lines provides a lively and engaging account of lesbian and gay comics in the U.S. from their origins in 1970s counter-cultures to their establishment in the 21st century. Driven by the compelling personal histories of pioneers such as Howard Cruse and Alison Bechdel, the film takes care to draw out intergenerational influences, technological change, and the non-linear trajectory of queer comics from margin to mainstream."

Los Angeles Times

Quietly powerful.”

IndieWire
"10 Must-See Films"

The Guardian
“A rich tapestry of interwoven voices and images.”

San Francisco Chronicle
“Kleiman tells a wider and deeper tale about the power of seeing one’s experience represented… Kleiman made the artwork itself the star of film.”

ArtNet
“One of ‘6 Gripping Art Films to See at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival"

Filmmaker Magazine
“Kleiman does a phenomenal job… A film that evokes laughter with the timeless humor of queer comics while engaging as well with the AIDS crisis and other elements of historical LGBT political oppression, No Straight Lines succeeds in blending history with narrative, ultimately doing justice to the rich history of queer comics.”

CBS News
“An entertaining and enlightening documentary… Traces the evolution of comics as a social movement, and artistic expression as a vital channel of sexuality.”

 

AWARDS
World Premiere | Tribeca Film Festival
International Premiere | Sheffield Doc Festival
Grand Jury Prize | Outfest
Closing Night | Frameline

FESTIVALS
Tribeca Film Festival
Sheffield Doc Festival
AFI DocFest
Outfest
Frameline

REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH FILMMAKER VIVIAN KLEIMAN
Director & Producer of NO STRAIGHT LINES

Vivian Kleiman, Producer/Director, is a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker known for tackling challenging subjects and filmic approaches, on such subjects as international adoption; the burning of a Black church in South Carolina by an aspiring member of the Ku Klux Klan; women in a Tijuana slum whose actions led to the first multi-billion dollar cleanup of a toxic spill on the U.S.-Mexico border; and a former Marine who journeyed from rejection to acceptance of his gay son.

A longtime collaborator with Black gay filmmaker Marlon Riggs, her work with him includes his landmark experimental documentary Tongues Untied (Additional Cinematography.)

Recently, Kleiman directed and produced No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics, a feature-length documentary that chronicles queer comic books from the margins of the Underground Comix scene to mainstream acceptance. Honored to premier at the Tribeca Film Festival, the film won the Grand Jury Award at LA’s Outfest, the most prestigious LGBT film festival in the U.S.

Among her other professional awards: Organization of American Historians’ Eric Barnouw Award, International Documentary Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award, and National Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Research. Kleiman holds
the distinctive record as producer or executive producer of eight co-productions with the Independent Television Service (ITVS), created by U.S. Congress to produce programs by independent filmmakers for national public television.

As an educator, Kleiman served a Lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate Program in Documentary Film Production for nine years.