Asynchronous Screening and Blog Post on The Get Down: Episode One

Creator and the director of the pilot, Baz Luhrmann, and a team of collaborators -Catherine Martin, MC Nas, DJ Grandmaster Flash, playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, and hip-hop historian Nelson George – set The Get Down as a music-driven drama that documents the emergence of a new art form. Set in the late 1970s, when New York was at the brink of bankruptcy, the rise of hip-hop is told through the lives, art, music, and dance of a group of young people in the South Bronx.


ASYNCHRONOUS ASSIGNMENT (Due on 9/21 before the class)


1. Watch the first episode of the Netflix show The Get Down: “Where There Is Ruin, There Is Hope for a Treasure.”

2. In the comment section down below answer ONE of the following prompts (200-word minimum).


Describe the different artistic engagements of intersecting Nuyorican and Black communities in the Bronx that led to the creation of Hip Hop culture? Refer to specific characters and scenes from the first episode of The Get Down.


Hip Hop parties became healing spaces to deal with the marginalization and turf wars in the Bronx. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Refer to the title of the episode and to specific scenes from the first episode of The Get Down 


Analyze the elements of mise en scene in this scene

How does the director uses the setting, lighting, costumes, props, camera, and/or actor movements or positions to portrait Ezekiel’s potential as a poet/MC?


Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about The Get Down do you want to bring into the discussion?

2 thoughts on “Asynchronous Screening and Blog Post on The Get Down: Episode One”

  1. The setting in the scene would be the classroom because the teacher wanted to talk about Ezekiel’s behavior in class. She wanted to show him that he is brilliant, and he could use his talent for good rather than be destructive and end up getting killed or in jail. The props used in the class were paintings, books, an old telephone on the wall, and a plant. The camera kept shifting back and forth; when the teacher was talking, they would usually show the door, but when Ezekiel was talking, they showed the classroom background, along with the window. The lightning in the background was lighter, along with the teacher’s costume, while Ezekiel’s t-shirt was dark blue; the sun appeared through the window. The expression and movements of the characters were severe because Ezekiel started rapping about his dead parents, and the teacher turned around because she didn’t want him to see her getting emotional. In the end, when the teacher told him about a producer where he could go and use his talent, Ezekiel had already gone from the classroom, and the teacher seemed concerned about him because he wasn’t serious about anything, especially school.

  2. Hip hop is a genre of music developed by African Americans and Latino Americans who lived in the Bronx. Its cultural movements gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s. Hip hop, also known as rap backing music, incorporates music styles rhyming. The rhyming art form was the lasting, influential movement.
    Hip hop culture comprised four elements: deejaying, rapping, rhyming and graffiti. Hip-hop movements began at the margins of society. Break dancing and graffiti, which were the aspects of the hip-hop culture by the Nuyorican, caught the attention of the public, but they did not last long. Youths in the Bronx stole into train yards and sprayed colorful paints of their names and images in 1975 (Tate).In the scene of The Get Down, there was a legend of graffiti called Shaolin Fantastic.
    The dancing, deejaying, and rapping art forms of hip hop were bound together by the African community that shared the art forms. The breakbeat was extended where it recorded all sounds, and the drums were dropped out. The breakbeats led to dancers creating breakdance, a style with airborne moves that were acrobatic with headspins and backspins that defied gravity (Tate). One of the characters in the scene of The Get Down who was a great dancer was Mylene.
    Deejays developed techniques that manipulated turntables—rapping incorporated spoken word. Ezekiel, in the scene, The Get Down, was a very good rapper. Rappers engaged in word games where they exchanged insults, and they also engaged in long rhyming poems (Tate).To sum up, the hip-hop culture was formed by incorporating deejaying, rapping, graffiti painting, and dance.

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