The Get Down- Baz Luhrmann's Netflix series on the birth of Hip Hop in the Bronx


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I watched this recently, and absolutely loved it. Even if hip-hop is not your thing, the acting and the singing (most notably that of Herizen Guardiola, who plays the character of Mylene Cruz) and the cinematic techniques of Baz Luhrmann are all worth a watch. The Get Down is a Netflix series consisting of 11 episodes, produced by Baz Luhrmann and is set in the Bronx in 1977. It follows the lives of a few young teenagers in the era of disco and the genesis of Hip-Hop. Baz Luhrmann (of Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge, Romeo & Juliet and The Great Gatsby fame) is an amazing story teller, with a truly visionary use of cinematic techniques, multiple story lines and music.

The Get Down is historical fiction showcasing the musical, economic, political and sociocultural climate of the Bronx in 1977. Disco was fading and giving way to the sound and voice of the underground- namely hip-hop. Instead of using violence, rival gangs battled each other with beats, rhymes, break-dancing and of course graffiti as art work. It is musical genre that took over the world. The rappers Grand Master Flash, Nas, DJ Herc also collaborated with Luhrmann to really give this show authenticity.

I grew up with hip-hop in the days before it turned into gangsta rap, so for me this reminded of my childhood. And oh dear, those disco songs!! Disco was before my time but my older siblings listened to it, so also a trip down memory lane for me. Jimmy Smits, Jayden Smith (Will Smith's son) Justice Smith, Herizen Guardiola, Shameik Moore to mention a few, are all outstanding in their acting. Nas does the contemporary raps for adult Zeke. Outside scenes were filmed in Queens with archived actual footage from the late 70s used as well.

Here is a trailer for the first half of the show which was released in August last year (second half was released this month:

Here is Zeke's poem which moved me to tears:

One of my favourite scenes (could only find this in low res and in black&white) is when Jackie comes up with a song for Mylene, and Zeke raps in between:

And here is Mylene's voice in all its glory:


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Barack and Michelle Obama Sign Netflix Production Deal
May 21, 2018 9:11AM PT
Netflix has secured a deal with former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to produce series and movies for the streaming service. The former first couple will, according to an announcement Monday from the company, potentially work on scripted and unscripted series as well as docu-series, documentary films, and features under the multi-year deal.

“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience,” said Barack Obama. “That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix — we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world.”

“Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others,” said Michelle Obama. “Netflix’s unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership.”

Signing the Obamas is the latest, and by far the biggest, in a string of moves by Netflix to lock up the entertainment industry’s highest-profile producers in exclusive production and development pacts. Last year, Netflix poached “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes from ABC Studios with a deal valued at more than $100 million. “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy jumped from his longtime home at 20th Century Fox Television earlier this year to also join Netflix. Murphy’s deal was reported at the time to be worth as much as $300 million. However, sources tell Variety that tally includes money that Murphy is expected to make from his current and former Fox series over the life of his Netflix contract, and that the true value of the deal is in line with that of Rhimes’.

It is unknown how much the Obamas’ Netflix agreement is worth. In March, Penguin Random House signed the couple to a joint book deal that pays them a reported $65 million for their respective memoirs.

“Barack and Michelle Obama are among the world’s most respected and highly-recognized public figures and are uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities.”

Among President Obama’s most visible public appearances since leaving office was on David Letterman’s new Netflix series, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.” Obama was the first guest in the former “Late Show” host’s new long-form interview program.

Word of a possible pact between the former U.S. president and first lady surfaced in March, when the New York Times first reported that the couple was in talks with the streaming service on a deal to produce several high-profile projects.

Sarandos has a close relationship with the Obamas. His wife, Nicole Avant, served as U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas in President Obama’s first term in office. Video / Now playing - Obama Impression From... :zzz:
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