“Impotency, homosexuality, frustration, nymphomania, lesbianism, bedroom antics. … You name it … It’s in “The Set…”
That’s how they spruiked Australia’s very first gay-themed feature film back in 1970, and now this seminal piece of Australian queer and film history is getting a new lease on life, with Bounty Films announcing that they will be bringing The Set to disc and VOD in March 2018.
Based on an unpublished novel by Roger Ward (Mad Max, Turkey Shoot) The Set scandalised Australia back in the day, before going to to win big at the box office – as is so frequently the case. The local media had a bit of a field day:
As for the plot? Let’s go to the official precis:
A young working-class man who sells shirts at a Sydney department store, Paul Lawrence (Sean McEuan), dreams of going to art school. When his girlfriend Cara (Amber Rodgers) leaves for London, Paul becomes the protégé of renowned designer Marie Rosefield (Brenda Senders). Marie belongs to ‘the set’, an upper-class clique whose members include Mark Bronoski (Dennis Doonan), an influential artist. Bronoski commissions Paul to design a set for flamboyant British stage director John L Fredericks (Michael Charnley). Helping Paul is Tony Brown (Rod Mullinar), a handsome student who is dating Paul’s cousin, Kim Sylvester (Bronwyn Barber). As Paul becomes part of ‘the set’, he begins a homosexual relationship with Tony. Meanwhile, Kim’s mother, Peggy (Hazel Phillips), is bored with her marriage and has an affair with Bronoski. As the deadline for the set approaches, Paul starts to question his values and those of his new friends.
That certainly sounds complicated. Keep an eye on the Bounty Films website as the release date draws near.