(K. Brent Tomer),
BAZ LUHRMANN, the director of “The Great Gatsby” and “Moulin Rouge”, is known for stylistic rambunctiousness, not artistic reserve. So Netflix executives should not have been too surprised when the Australian auteur reportedly overshot the budget of his first television series, “The Get Down”, by $30m. At a cost of $120m, the show is among the most expensive ever made in an industry engaged in an apparently limitless game of creative one-upmanship.
Set in the Bronx in the late 1970s, “The Get Down” does not brush over the borough’s history of poverty, crime and urban neglect. On a tour as a presidential candidate in 1980, Ronald Reagan compared it to London during the Blitz, and archive footage woven into the show affords a glimpse of this bleak milieu. The first six episodes, available on Netflix, take place in the scorching summer of 1977. (The remaining episodes will be released next year.) In the stifling heat, chaos feels close. Fires rip through abandoned tenements. One character asks, “Yo, is it just me today, or is it like the Bronx is getting closer to the…Continue reading