Rotterdam newspaper Algemeen Dagblad (or AD) has published an article about the attitude toward homosexuality in films. The two film adaptations of Brideshead Revisited are used as as a case study of developments over the more than 35 years that separates them. Film editor Ab Zagt explains that:
…the television series Brideshead Revisited (1981) from writer Evelyn Waugh impressed him. The friendship between the aristocratic student Sebastian Flyte (the somewhat oblivious Anthony Andrews) and his bosom friend Charles Ryder (fabulously interpreted by Jeremy Irons) initially looks platonic, but Sebastian, who was very attached to his teddy bear, was gay, as could be seen by a blind person. According to a later biography, Waugh had relationships with three male fellow students during his stay in Oxford. His masterpiece from 1945 would be based on that. The first television series remained chaste. In 2008, a new Brideshead version was made for the cinema, in which Sebastian tries to kiss Charles. He keeps on trying, because Charles was not responsive to this approach. Yet, this moment, caused much fuss among British viewers.
The article goes on to consider the treatment of homosexual themes in films from Ben Hur (1959) to La vie d’Adele (2013) and concludes:
Nowadays, directors do not have to pretend to be so secretly gay and lesbian in their movies. A movie like Brokeback Mountain (2005), about two homosexual cowboys, has certainly done groundbreaking work. It is the best viewed and award winning gay film of all time.
Translation is by Goggle with a few edits.