Friday, February 27, 2015

Babylonian Creation Myth retold for Modern Times: The Mobsters (1991) (part 2 of 2)

Meyer Lansky (Patrick Dempsey)
Caught between the two bosses fighting for supremacy, Luciano decides that the old way of doing things has to end. Spurred into action when Rothstein is murdered, Luciano plots to kill both bosses, and then set up his new system of governing the criminal underworld. As part of his plan, he convinces Faranzano to let Masseria think that he won their war. After assuring Masseria of his “ultimate victory,” Luciano runs afoul of Faranzano, who scars and almost kills him. Still mindful of his ultimate goal, Luciano murders Masseria and returns to Faranzano.

 Watching Faranzano divide the underworld of New York City into the Five Families, Luciano sees how he can organize the other mobsters effectively into a collective group. After Faranzano declares himself “Boss of Bosses” (Capo di tutti capi), Luciano decides that the wars over who is to be the next boss has to end. Faranzano knows this and sends Mad Dog Coll (Irish) to murder him, only to have Luciano kill him instead.

 After confronting Faranzano, Luciano drops him to the pavement below, killing him. The scene of Luciano holding Faranzano’s body outside a window of a tall building is reminiscent of Marduk using the two halves of Tiamat’s body to form the heavens and the earth. In this scene, Luciano acts as Marduk in recreating his world.

 The final scene has Luciano meeting with the crime bosses from all over the United States. He explains that the underworld will be run nationally by a commission of bosses. The head of the new Commission would be selected by the bosses. Of course, they choose Luciano, who, like Marduk, establishes a new order with himself as the boss.

 Though two seemingly dissimilar stories, “Mobsters” and the Babylonian Creation Epic echo each other. Although Luciano and the formation of the National Commission are history, the movie reimagines their story in mythic terms. The result is the retelling of the "Enuma Ellish" for modern audiences.

 Works Used.
“Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses.” U.K. Higher Education Project. 2011. Web. .
Capeci, Jerry, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Mafia, 2nd edition.” Alpha: New York. 2004. Print.
 Cawthorne, Nigel, “Mafia: The History of the Mob.” Arcturus: London. 2012. Print.
 Cicero, Sandra, “A Guide to the Babylonian Tarot.” Llewellyn: Woodbury, MN, 2006. Print.
 Cipollini, Christian, “Lucky Luciano: Mysterious Tales of a Gangland Legend.” Strategic Media: Rock Hill, SC. 2014. Print.
 “Mobsters.” Kabankoff, Michael, Dr. Perf. Christian Slater, Patrick Dempsey, Richard Grieco, Costas Mandylor. Universal Studios. 1991 Movie. DVD..
 Siren, Christopher, “The Assyro-Babylonian Mythology FAQ.” 2003. Web. .
“Sumerian Mythology FAQ.” 2000. Web.
 Smitha, Frank, “Civilization in Mesopotamia.” Macrohistory and World Time Line. 2014. Web. .

No comments: