This edition of London Shorts goes back in time: Fingers by writer-director Alex Marx is a crime drama set in London's East End during the 1960s. The story focuses on the dynamics between the family of recently-deceased crime boss Phil King and his brother Harry, who doesn’t wait long after his brother's death to claim both the crown and also Phil's wife and daughter as his own.
A birthday bash in Harry’s nightclub starts off as a celebration but descends into something stranger and more sinister when Sally performs a dance as a gift to Harry; tensions escalate and the consequences are fatal. Mixing East End gangster lore with the New Testament story of Salome, Fingers invites us to look at familiar archetypes from a new perspective.
Marx tells Londonist: “I've always been obsessed with The Godfather series and how the films are essentially family dramas wrapped up as gangster films. When we discovered that the Krays had the nickname "the kings of London" everything fell into place.”
Of the Biblical elements, Marx adds: “We were surprised to discover that Salome is not named in the Bible and that the nature of her dance is not described. However all the interpretations we came across portrayed her as a seductress and her dance as overtly sexual. We wanted to challenge this assumption and focus more on the family dynamics, leaning on Shakespeare's Hamlet as a second reference to explicate the characters motivations.”
The short was filmed at the Buffalo Bar in Angel and was, at times, a challenging production. "It was nerve-racking having 60 pairs of eyes on me, but ultimately the energy and enthusiasm really contributed to the atmosphere. One of my favourite moments was chaperoning 20 extras in 60s garb along Upper Street."
To see other London Shorts click here.