The Line, the Cross and the Curve is a musical short film directed by and starring Kate Bush. Released in 1993, it co-starred Miranda Richardson and noted choreographer Lindsay Kemp, who had served as dance mentor to Bush early in her career. The film is essentially an extended music video featuring songs from Bush’s 1993 album, The Red Shoes, which in turn was inspired by the classic movie musical-fantasy The Red Shoes.

In this version of the tale, Bush plays a frustrated singer-dancer who is enticed by a mysterious woman (Richardson) into putting on a pair of magical ballet slippers. Once on her feet, the shoes start dancing on their own, and Bush’s character (who is never referred to by name) must battle Richardson’s character to free herself from the spell of the shoes. Her guide on this strange journey is played by Kemp.

The film premiered at the London Film Festival on 13 November 1993. Kate got up on stage before the screening to thank “everyone who’d been a part of making the film” and to speak of her trepidation because her opus was following a Wallace & Gromit animation by Aardman called The wrong trousers. Subsequently, the film was released direct-to-video in most areas and was only a modest success. Soon after its release, Bush effectively dropped out of the public eye until her eighth studio album Aerial was released in November 2005.

Two years after UK release, due to the late promotion in the US, the film was nominated for the Long Form Music Video at the 1996 Grammy Awards. The film continues to be played in arthouse cinemas around the world, such as a screening at Hollywood Theatre in 2014 where the film was screened along with modern dance interpretations to Bush’s music.

Track listing

  1. Rubberband Girl
  2. And So Is Love
  3. The Red Shoes
  4. Lily
  5. The Red Shoes (Instrumental Version)
  6. Moments Of Pleasure
  7. Eat The Music
  8. The Red Shoes


The Line, The Cross and the Curve was released on VHS video and Laserdisc.

Kate about ‘The Line, The Cross and the Curve’

In a way, it was very restrictive because it’s not my conceptual piece from scratch. Also, I’m working around the songs and I had to put myself into the film. I would’ve preferred to cast myself in a smaller role. It wasn’t the ideal situation because it was very rushed and we had little money. But it was an intense project. And I’m very glad I went through it, even if the film is not received well, because I learned so much.

Now Magazine, 16 December 1993