Wednesday, December 16, 2009

gangs of new york (2002)

dead rabbits

Picture from wikipedia (1857) is called "view from the "Dead Rabbit" barricade in Bayard Street, taken at the height of the battle by our own artist, who, as spectator, was present at the fight."

I watched Martin Scorsese's film Gangs of New York last night ( as a break from my work and of course there were several Nights-related things in the film!

1 - The Forty Thieves Gang - there are several mentions of a gang called "The Forty Thieves" which deserves further research because it is either a real gang (some websites claim it as the "first" known gang in NYC) and/or the nickname of the New York Council who operated out of the Tammany Hall building of both the film and history.

2 - A mention of Scheherazade and the Nights during the scene which opens the night of the celebration of Priest Vallon's death. There is a shot of the Chinese hall and several prostitutes are carousing with the suits and someone shouts something like: "Gentlemen, you are most welcome to this palace of enchantment with visions to rival Sheherazade and the tales of the thousand nights of Arabia!" Though the exact quote may be a bit different. Someone online has a screenplay they cobbled together from watching the movie but I don't think it's an exact quote (and is different from mine, they write "Gentlemen, you are most welcome to this palace of enchantment......with visions to rival the tales of Sheherazade and the Arabian Nights!" -

3 - the focus on the word "ghoul" - which may not be directly Nights-specific but I think it conjures something about the Nights and it's originally an Arabic word. The scene comes after Amsterdam sells a recently killed body to a morgue and the paper writes about a new "ghoul gang."

from the website above:

"What's that word?

It means bodysnatchers.

I didn't ask the meaning. I asked the word.



That's a good word. "

- That's about it for Gangs. I'm interested if anyone finds out anything or knows about the real life gang or political nickname "The Forty Thieves" that is more than what's online (don't trust anything on the Internet!) let me know, I'd be interested to hear about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment