A new gay version of the Evelyn Waugh novel Brideshead Revisited is set to open in limited release this week.
Set in England at the dawn of the Second World War, the film circles around Charles Ryder (Matthew Goode), a young middle class painter who befriends the charmingly quirky Lord Sebastian Flyte (Ben Whishaw) during their tenure at Oxford. The writers of the film make Sebastian’s interest in Charles overtly sexual, whereas the novel left their “man-love” completely ambiguous. Nevertheless, their budding friendship is challenged once Sebastian brings Charles home to his sprawling estate at Brideshead, where Charles meets the devout Lady Marchmain (Emma Thompson), an expert in Catholic guilt, and Sebastian’s jaded sister Julia (Hayley Atwell). Drawn both to Julia and to the luxury of Brideshead, Charles’ desire to become closer to the family only distances him from Sebastian, who in Charles saw an escape from the oppressive Catholic lifestyle Lady Marchmain demands. As Charles’ decisions send Sebastian into an alcoholic tailspin, he learns just how deep Lady Marchmain’s hold over her children runs.
Brideshead Revisited, according to The Telegraph, “a new film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited will out Sebastian Flyte as a homosexual and even feature a gay kiss between him and Charles. In one controversial scene in the new £10 million film, which has its world premiere in New York on Tuesday, a love struck Sebastian attempts to kiss Charles on the mouth before his amorous advances are resisted.
The scene has been welcomed by some gay rights campaigners who have already dubbed the film ‘the most overtly’ gay Brideshead ever. But it is set to infuriate purists who insist that the relationship between the two friends has been distorted. Brideshead Revisited tells the story of Charles Ryder and his infatuation with Lord Sebastian Flyte, his aristocratic family and their ancestral home, Brideshead. The two men meet while students at Oxford and Ryder finds Flyte’s decadence and loucheness irresistible.
Although fans of the novel and the 1981 Granada television adaptation which starred Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews have debated the nature of the relationship between the two friends neither the book, which appeared in 1945, or the TV adaptation carry any overt references to homosexual feelings.”
Said screenwriter Andrew Davies: “I think it will probably upset the purists. But one thing we wanted to make clear was that Sebastian was gay and that Charles although terribly fond of him is heading in another direction sexually. Waugh had a very skilful way of skating over the sordid details so we can imagine what we like about them. This ambivalence was probably the result of his own sexual ambivalence.”
Sebastian is played by Ben Whishaw, and Charles by Matthew Goode. Below, Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews in the PBS series which transfixed viewers in 1981.
Digg it: source : at A gay mens blog