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Thread: The Get Down

  1. #1
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    The Get Down

    I could've sworn I started a thread on this already.

    The Story Behind The Get Down’s Kung Fu Connection
    By E. Alex Jung Follow @e_alexjung


    Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

    Shaolin Fantastic doesn’t just walk into a scene — he flies. He leaps off of buildings, swings around fence poles, bounces off of refrigerators, and flips into a crowd before starting a B-boy dance battle. For the better part of the first episode of Netflix’s The Get Down, he’s glimpsed only in snatches: red sneakers, a hat, a cloud of dust. More than any other character in The Get Down, Shaolin (played by Shameik Moore) embodies the journeyman. He’s the kung fu warrior, someone with nothing more than his hands and feet and wits to hustle his way to the top. As Dead Prez rapped, “They say karate means empty hands, so then it’s perfect for the poor man.”

    Bruce Lee’s legacy is everywhere in The Get Down, from the music to the Bruce Lee belt Shaolin wears to the master-student dynamic that runs throughout the show. “Dude, that Hong Kong cinema was synonymous with everything back then,” Rich Talauega — who with his brother, Tone, choreographed The Get Down — told me on the phone. Tone added, “Especially with the communities that didn't have a lot. They resorted to that as inspiration and utilized that in their everyday life.”

    In the 1960s, Bruce Lee was best known in Hollywood for playing Kato in The Green Hornet, the sidekick to Britt Reid. It wouldn’t be until the early ’70s that Lee would enter the cultural Zeitgeist by way of China. After the show ended in 1967, Lee shopped around his passion project, a television show called The Warrior, which his wife Linda Lee Cadwell later said was stolen by Warner Brothers and repackaged as Kung Fu starring David Carradine. So instead, Bruce Lee left for Hong Kong, where he made a string of classic kung fu films starting with The Big Boss in 1971, before his sudden death just ahead of the release of Enter the Dragon, a Hong Kong-American production, in 1973. That’s when he became an international legend.

    “What’s funny is he slapped Hollywood upside the face, because he made Hollywood come to him,” said Rich. “Man, us brown people, us black people, we found a hero that superseded the pale-faced Hollywood media. Bruce was like, You know what? I’m Chinese, I’m brown, and I can whip your ass.” Coming on the heels of the black radicalism of the ’60s, Bruce Lee’s importance as a cultural figure in the U.S. had deep political resonance: Both as a character and as an actor, he had a philosophy of self-reliance and discipline that resonated with the messages of the black power movement.

    As Bruce Lee’s films skyrocketed in popularity, hip-hop was in its nascent stages in New York. Those involved in the creation of the movement would go to cheap Times Square movie houses that often played kung fu films, and martial arts moves were eventually absorbed into the rising B-boying, a.k.a. break dancing, vocabulary. Enter the Dragon provided the blueprint for much of what would come, because it was arguably the first movie that brought martial arts and blaxploitation together — two genres that influenced hip-hop and would continue to intermingle throughout the ’70s. “Kung fu provides a nonwhite, non-Western template for fighting superiority,” Nelson George, who was a supervising producer on The Get Down, writes in Hip Hop America. “The flying, leaping, spinning angels and devils … are yellow men who awed us with their ability. And there was no one more awesome than Bruce Lee, the diminutive giant of the genre.”

    The Talauegas wanted the choreography for Shaolin Fantastic to show that kung fu wasn’t just a nostalgic touchstone, but a key ingredient to making B-boy culture what it is. “B-boying is the epitome of pop-cultural dance, because they took, unbeknownst and knowingly, stuff from the Nicholas Brothers, from Bruce Lee, from kung fu theater, from '70s gang culture, all this stuff, they put it in a pot, mixed it up, and made some gumbo and everybody liked it,” said Rich. “If it wasn't for Hong Kong cinema, hip-hop street-dancing culture would be a bit different,” added Tone. For instance, the Talauegas recalled how kung fu filtered into how they played as kids. “All the Shaw Brother films, Bruce Lee films, was escapism for us in the hood,” said Rich. “Subconsciously, after we watched that, we literally went outside and imitated and pantomimed what we saw from China.”

    The same sense of drive and purpose that courses through a kung fu movie propels The Get Down, too. The standard kung fu narrative has the protagonist seeking revenge or righting a wrong, but in order to do so, he must also practice his craft. “The good guy, you see his journey throughout the whole film: I'm gonna get better,” said Rich. “Look at how B-boys do each other. In order to be amazing as a B-boy, there's copious amounts of practice.” The idea of practice is hammered in repeatedly in The Get Down: Shaolin and Books (Justice Smith) could have had an aha moment with the purple crayon, for example, but the series takes pains to show us it’s a technique to be mastered, not a wonder drug that grants you abilities.

    The narrative arc for Shaolin Fantastic also mirrors that of many a classic kung fu flick: He’s an outsider challenging the system and he has a mentor in the form of Grandmaster Flash. Moreover, he has a code. He might hustle; he might sell drugs, but he wouldn’t sell out his honor or betray Grandmaster Flash. He’s loyal to his tribe. “It’s a parallel to how Bruce Lee conquered the world and made everybody look at and respect Asians from a different perspective,” said Rich. “Shaolin’s journey is a hero’s journey: He wants to be the king. He’s going to make it because he has nothing else.”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #2
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    First forum review!

    Original Netflix series seem to be capitalizing on nostalgia nowadays with this and Stranger Things. I'm halfway through Stranger Things now, but so far, I liked this better.

    I've always felt that Hip Hop was prime for a great musical but it never really happened. Bas Luhrmann has a great ear for musical moments, and those are showcased here, but not in a true musical sense. It's almost there, but still defaults to a more traditional line of storytelling. For a true musical, it needed to shift into magical song and dance scenes, like a good Bollywood movie, and while there are some decent moments like that - such as the gals singing in the barbershop and the finale, it never transcended into a major dance number of Bollywood proportions. Overall, The Get Down was enjoyable although episodes 3 & 4 could have been condensed into one, or maybe less. The show picked up again later, made some odd turns but the music kept up. The finale was a little silly (where the heck did those jackets come from?) but musically good. I'm not sure I'd be down with a second season...maybe. I liked the spirit of it, and the way the connection between Kung Fu and Hip Hop was explored, but towards the end felt like it was stuffing things in like vogueing and punk just to be temporal, just to ring that nostalgic bell. Could've used a sword fight - it was totally set up for one with Shao's cane - such a tease.

    And I want that belt buckle. Those of you who've seen this know exactly what I mean. I'd totally rock that.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  3. #3
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    Season 2

    Baz Luhrmann not amused by 'The Get Down' and Jaden Smith death rumors


    Director Baz Luhrmann's "The Get Down" covers the early years of hip hop as told through the eyes of several young people from the South Bronx in the mid 1970. (EVAN AGOSTINI/AP)

    CONFIDENTIAL
    NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
    Saturday, October 1, 2016, 6:00 PM

    “The Get Down” director Baz Luhrmann is not happy that there's buzz his super high-budget Netflix show is dying, nor was he thrilled about rumors that one of the show's stars had died.

    “It’s funny, those rumors, because I’m shooting (season) two today, we're shooting it right now,” he told us at the Clio Awards on the Upper West Side.

    After the '70s hip-hop drama premiered last month, Variety.com wrote that at $120 million it was the “most expensive series ever” and based on a series of independent reports used to calculate Netflix viewership, it was a “likely disappointment” for the streaming network. That in turn prompted rumors web-wide that the show wouldn't last.

    Baz says that's B.S.

    “The internet's a funny thing because I can tell you it's absolute rubbish,” he insisted. “The show's going extraordinarily well, it's got a giant fan base and a grand following. There's something going on in that they really don't know the numbers for Netflix, and they try and make them up.”

    Also last month, several websites bit on a hoax that actor Jaden Smith, who plays street artist Marcus “Dizzee” Kipling on “The Get Down,” had hanged himself. Luhrmann finds no humor in that rumor.

    “The stuff about Jaden passing away, it’s a bit upsetting because he's shooting this week,” the Oscar-nominated “Moulin Rouge” director said.

    Luhrmann also wants to set the record straight about his friend and neighbor Anna Wintour, who's frequently been accused of being dead inside.

    “I know Anna has this persona, which I call her work armor, which is not the Anna I know at all,” Luhrmann said. “The Anna I know is funny, warm, a great mum, an incessant creator and organizer of events and someone very family-focused.”

    Luhrmann calls spending time with Wintour and her family “one of the great joys for our family” and says she's an excellent conversationalist.

    “She's a champion of new talent, she believes in high and low,” he said. “She has no prejudice. She knows her own mind. When people are down, she's extraordinarily loyal. That's one of the great qualities about her and I'm very proud to call her my friend.”

    WITH NICKI GOSTIN, BRIAN NIEMIETZ
    I will probably start watching Season 2 when it starts. We'll see if it holds me.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  4. #4
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    Do we need an Aquaman thread here?

    Although I confess I'm a huge fan of Nicole - me and Wang Jianlin. She started out as a ninjette in Nightmaster (1987) and I cannot believe we don't have a thread about that here.

    JANUARY 31, 2017 1:25pm PT by Borys Kit
    Nicole Kidman in Talks to Join 'Aquaman' (Exclusive)


    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
    Nicole Kidman

    The actress is in early negotiations to play Aquaman’s mother.
    Nicole Kidman may be joining the DC Cinematic Universe.

    The actress, who is in the Oscar mix this awards season for her work in Lion, is in early talks to play Aquaman’s mother in Aquaman, the big-screen take of the underwater-breathing comic book superhero.

    Jason Momoa is playing the title character in the Warner Bros/DC Entertainment production that James Wan is directing. The studio is cruising towards an April production start in Australia and is starting to round out key members of its cast.

    Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who starred on Netflix’s Baz Lurhmann show The Get Down, is in early talks to play the villain known as Black Manta.

    Amber Heard is on board as Mera, Aquaman's royal love interest, and Willem Dafoe will portray Aquaman’s advisor, scientist Dr. Vulko. Patrick Wilson, who starred in Wan’s Conjuring movies, will play Orm, a villain who happens to be Aquaman’s half-brother.

    In traditional Aquaman lore, the hero’s mother is Atlanna, who hails from royalty in the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. She escapes her kingdom and falls in love with a lighthouse keeper, giving birth to the boy who will one day grow up to be a bridge between two worlds.

    If a deal is made — and it looks optimistic, as Kidman has been Wan's top choice for weeks, with an official offer finally going out on Monday — it will not be the actress' first swim in the DC superhero waters. Kidman starred opposite Val Kilmer in 1995's Batman Forever as Bruce Wayne's love interest, Dr. Chase Meridian.

    Kidman currently is on the awards circuit for her role in Lion, the Weinstein Co. drama about an adopted man looking for his family. She also is one of the stars and executive producers of Big Little Lies, HBO’s dramatic miniseries that is set to premiere in February.

    Kidman is repped by CAA, Shanahan Management and Media Talent Group.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #5
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    The Get Down - Part II | Clip: Toy Box [HD] | Netflix

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  6. #6
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    cancelled

    Bummer. I didn't realize that this was all still Season 1. I've been trying to watch the latest episodes, but my AppleTV keeps crashing on me.

    MAY 24, 2017 5:50pm PT by Kate Stanhope
    'The Get Down' Canceled at Netflix After One Season


    Courtesy of YouTube/Netflix
    'The Get Down'

    The hourlong music drama hailed from director Baz Luhrmann.
    It's the end of the line for The Get Down.

    Netflix has canceled ambitious music drama from writer-director Baz Luhrmann after one season, it was announced Wednesday.

    The news comes nearly two months after the second half of the series' first season premiered on the streaming giant. The Get Down was described as "a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco" and was set in the Bronx in the late 1970s.

    Originally announced in February 2015, the project marked Luhrmann's first foray into television and stemmed from a concept he had been working on for more than a decade.

    However, the Sony-produced series soon hit delays and also saw the departure of original showrunner Shawn Ryan. The first six episodes of season one debuted last August, marking the first time a Netflix original season was split into two parts rather than released all at once as has been the tradition at the streamer for scripted series.

    The five remaining episodes were subsequently released last month, bringing the season one total to 11 — two short of the original 13-episode order The Get Down received in 2015.

    "The truth is that at a certain point, there was no precedent for how you make such a music-driven show," Luhrmann told The Hollywood Reporter when discussing Ryan's exit. "Ultimately, right now, I ultimately was asked to take the position of being responsible for everything and yes, I am responsible for everything, including saying we have to stop and get it right. … We would start doing it [shooting] and I was being asked to get more involved because it was either not working or it had to be re-engineered."

    Because of the production delays, SAG-AFTRA pushed for arbitration against Sony Pictures Television in March under the allegation that the show's actors were held under option contracts for too long.

    In addition to multiple production delays, the series faced financial issues, with an overall budget that was reported to be approximately $120 million — making it the most expensive series on television, a fact which Luhrmann refuted.

    "I heard The Crown was the most expensive show ever made, that's what someone told me," he said last July. "Yes, it took longer and it's been more difficult than I imagined. As for the number, it wasn't cheap. But I don't think it's the most expensive show. I think it's on the high end of storytelling."

    Although Luhrmann had taken a larger role on the series in the wake of Ryan's exit, he had recently revealed plans to take a step back from the series should it have been renewed for season two.

    The Get Down becomes the first Netflix show to be canceled after just one season. While the streaming giant has renewed the bulk of its slate in recent years as part of its aggressive push into scripted originals, there are a handful of series that have gotten the ax. Expensive period drama Marco Polo was canceled after two seasons, while Lilyhammer, Hemlock Grove and Bloodline were canceled after three seasons. The latter, also from Sony Pictures Television, will premiere its third and final season on Friday. Additionally, the upcoming sixth season of Western Longmire will be its last.

    In addition to Luhrmann, Stephen Adly Guirgis was also credited as a co-creator on The Get Down. The series' other executive producers included Catherine Martin, Nasir Jones, Marney Hochman, Thomas Kelly and Paul Watters.

    The cast included Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, Herizen F. Guardiola, Skylan Brooks, Tremaine Brown Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Jimmy Smits.

    Luhrmann on Wednesday night posted a lengthy note about the show's demise on his Facebook page, in which he cited his commitment to an upcoming film as one of the reasons behind the show's premature end.

    Read the note in full below.

    Dear fans of The Get Down,

    I wanted to speak to you with an open heart and just acknowledge how humbled and moved that not only I, but all who have given so much to this production, have been by your passion and commitment to see the next chapter of The Get Down go back into production in the immediate future. I want to explain to you why that is unlikely to happen...

    When I was asked to come to the center of The Get Down to help realize it, I had to defer a film directing commitment for at least two years. This exclusivity has understandably become a sticking point for Netflix and Sony, who have been tremendous partners and supporters of the show. It kills me that I can’t split myself into two and make myself available to both productions. I feel so deeply connected to all those who I have worked and collaborated with on this remarkable experience.

    All sorts of things have been thrown around for the future... even a stage show (can you imagine that? I can, concert version anyone? Next summer? Just saying.) But the simple truth is, I make movies. And the thing with movies is, that when you direct them, there can be nothing else in your life. Since The Get Down stopped, I have actually been spending the last few months preparing my new cinematic work...

    The cast of this show is unique and exceptional. Apart from our stellar veteran actors, I can’t tell you how privileged we all felt to have found such young, new talents, many of whom are now starring in motion pictures, creating music, and taking tremendous strides in their careers. Our cast, writers, musical collaborators, choreographers, camera team, directing and post-production teams all felt the profound privilege to have been embraced by the borough of The Bronx and the Hip-Hop community at large. But most especially by the forefathers of Hip-Hop: Grandmaster Flash, Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, Kurtis Blow, Raheim and all the b-boys, b-girls, graffiti-writers, MC’s and DJ’s that made this story possible. As well as the keepers of the flame and guiding lights, such as Nas. We experienced things together that I will never forget. All of us in The Get Down family have been touched by this precious mission of telling the pre-history of a form of culture that would go on to change not only the city, but the world.

    As for the real future of the show, the spirit of The Get Down, and the story it has begun to tell... it has its own life. One that lives on today and will continue to be told somewhere, somehow, because of you, the fans and the supporters.

    Humbled and honored, and to quote Mylene’s beautiful ballad, “I’ll see you on the other-side..."

    Best,

    Baz
    I still want Shaolin Fantastic's belt buckle.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  7. #7
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    4 out of 15

    And one was even a cover story.

    7 Netflix Shows Cancelled For Ridiculous Reasons (And 8 That Are Next)
    James Scrawler 06.19.17 Entertainment



    There was a long stretch of time when Netflix was the greener pastures of television productions. Really, it still is, but things are a changing. For a while, no shows got cancelled. These days, it’s still rare that a show gets cancelled once they’ve been started on the streaming platform. But, we should expect more soon. According to Netflix’s CEO, Reid Hastings, the platform’s cancel rate is too low. This statement has several meanings. For one, he believes that the cancel rate is bound to increase, which will force them to cancel more shows. He also wants his team to take more chances with the material that gets green-lit. Yes, the other side of that coin means more failures and more cancelled shows, but it also means bigger successes.

    Lately, we’ve seen some Netflix shows go down. This is a new turn for the company, but we should start to get used to it. At this point, seven shows have gone down. We wanted to explore the reasons why these seven shows in particular got the axe. There are also some shows that haven’t been renewed that we’ll discuss. Lastly, we want to look at which shows are next in line for cancellation. We know the axe is going to fall again and probably soon. We listed the six shows that we’re sure are next. Sure, we could be wrong on these predictions, but we’d be surprised if any of these shows last for their entire runs. If you’re a fan of one of the shows on this list, any reasons for it being cancelled would sound ridiculous. Depending on your perspective, the reasons for cancellation may be ridiculous. Or, the reason the show was cancelled was because it was ridiculous. Here are 7 Netflix Shows Cancelled for Ridiculous Reasons and 8 Others That Are Next.

    15. Marco Polo – Cancelled



    After a first season that was plagued with poor reviews, Marco Polo had a very steep uphill climb to try and make it work on Netflix. When the show was greenlit, everyone expected big things. Harvey Weinstein, one of the producers, bragged that the show would be “one of the most expensive shows ever done for pay TV.” It was. The budget was incredible. Yet, after spending at least $180 million over two years and shooting all over the world, Marco Polo was struck down after two disappointing seasons. Actually, most who stuck around for season two were more pleased, but the show had lost too many viewers by that point. Truthfully, the show was just boring. The most successful shows in the historical drama realm are successful because they infuse a strong and powerful narrative into a historical setting. Marco Polo seemed intent on focusing on history and forgot about story and character. The result was one of the most dreadful efforts put forth by Netflix.

    ...

    10. Sense8 – Cancelled



    Since we don’t get to see a detailed report of Netflix’s viewership numbers, we can never be sure about who watches what. By the loud outcry of fans that voiced their displeasure with the recent cancelling of Sense8, it would seem that there are plenty of viewers, but that’s not what Netflix makes it sound like. Call it ridiculous all you like, but the real reason that Sense8 was cancelled is because it was a niche show with an enormous cost. It’s been reported that it cost $9 million per episode to make. That’s insane. Plus, if you’ve ever seen Sense8, you would know that the first season dangerously borders on being incomprehensible and mind-numbingly boring. While this show is one that would really benefit from multiple seasons, it lost far too many viewers between the start of the first season and the second season to be ever be considered worth the exorbitant price tag. Just to be clear, we’re not saying that the show’s cancellation is ridiculous. We’re saying the reason it was cancelled—the cost—was ridiculous.

    9. The Get Down – Cancelled



    Much like Sense8, Baz Luhrmann‘s The Get Down was axed because it had a ridiculous budget. Estimated at around $12 million per episode, the shooting budget for this show is something usually set aside for major shows with incredible special effects. The budget for Game of Thrones season six, for example, was roughly $10 million per episode. The Get Down was a musical drama. Sure, it was incredibly stylish and vibrant, and, at times, it’s almost brilliant. But again, like Sense8, it’s a mess. It’s narrative bounds all over the place, and, even aided by binge-watching, this is troubling for audiences. There’s no doubt that if the production costs were a fraction of what they were in reality, this show would find a suitable audience and thrive. At the ridiculous price tag of $12 million an episode, this show would need to be one of the most popular on television to make it worthwhile for any business.

    ...

    6. Iron Fist – Prediction: Cancelled After Second Season



    It would shock us greatly if Iron Fist was actually cancelled outright. That would require a lot of effort from Netflix, so we’re going to suggest something else. While the other shows in the Defenders series will likely get several independent seasons, we think that Iron Fist will only get two. Even now, the second season for Iron Fist hasn’t been greenlit, but we’re certain the announcement will come soon. The show will get a second season. It will be better than the first, which will be easy considering that the first was one of the worst seasons in Netflix history. But, it won’t be enough to make a third season make sense. There’s just too many good shows on television, Netflix included, for people to waste time watching bad shows too.
    Marco Polo
    The Get Down
    Sense8
    Iron Fist
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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