Paul Lawrence is a working class man who dates Cara, sells shirts at a Sydney department store, and dreams of attending art school. Cara leaves for London and Paul becomes the protege of designer Marie Rosefield. Through this he enters the 'set', the world of Sydney art society. Rosefield is friends with Mark Broniski, an artist who commissions Paul to design a set for British stage director, John L. Fredericks. Paul is helped by art student Tony Brown, who is dating Paul's cousin, Kim Sylvester. Paul and Tony begin a homosexual affair. Kim's mother Peggy has an affair with Boronoski. Written by
Paul Gerard Kennedy
'The Set' was made two years before Australian television led the world in its depiction of sex in the classic soap 'Number 96'. Clunky and clumsy though much of the film is, there is a freshness and immediacy about some of its scenes that is very taking. Hazel Phillips is the standout in a generally unexciting cast: she alone has the style and elegance to convince us that this is a genuinely 'groovy' set of people challenging the still stifling mores of Australia as it enters the 1970s. Although the film is regarded today, if at all, as an oddity, Hazel Phillips and a few of the other actors present a fascinatingly savvy commentary on a transitional period between prudery and permissiveness.
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