Machiavelli Hangman: Behind Locked Doors

After achieving some success with the brilliant, independently made short film Color Blind, Shervin Youssefian ( was given a chance to direct a feature film that would mark his debut as a feature film director in Hollywood. The journey began when last November he turned in a copy of Machiavelli Hangman to producer/Disney Manager Artin Nazarian who was so impressed by the material that he immediately made it a priority to kick the project into full gear.

Disturbing, grotesque and very funny at times, Machiaelli Hangman is an extremely original piece of writing that upholds imagination over limitations of budget. The fresh storyline is reminiscent of the films of Quentin Tarantino mixed in with Billy Wilder's witty repartee.

Although, Machiavelli Hangman takes a few comedic detours it always manages to remind the audience of its serious nature. The film has a very strong theme of living your own life and not wanting to substitute it for anybody else's.

This film's plot is similar to that of John Frankenheimer's Seconds that came out in 1966, however, Machiavelli Hangman takes itself less seriously and that makes for a more enjoyable joy ride. Another interest characteristic of this new film by Youssefian is its ability to constantly cut back and forth through time and space without losing its audience. Other films that have tried this technique have run the risk of either confusing the viewer as in the example of this year's Primer, or to lose their attention like in the Butterfly Effect.

Quentin Tarantino is a master of the broken narrative (Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown) and in its early stages of production, the Machiavelli Hangman was thought to be Tarantino's next project because of some rumors flying around that he had penned the story under an alias. This rumor circulated until it was revealed that the relatively unknown Youssefian was the one who wrote the original screenplay.

Till this day, the actual premise of the film is a big mystery. Some sources say that it is about JFK's secret relationship with Monroe while others claim that it will reveal new information about the 1963 killing. There are other websites that have contributed countless of pages to the film as a tribute to independent filmmaking and calling it the beginning of the digital revolution.

One thing is for sure however. Machiavelli Hangman ( has a cast of celebrities that will remain anonymous until the film's release in late November. Like Stanley Kubrick in his early career or Woody Allen, Youssefian and his team are extremely strict about letting anyone - except a select few - to find out anything about the project until it is released in the theatres.

About the author:
Peter Gribaldi is an entertainment columnist for various newspapers and online publications. He brings his personal insight into Hollywood to bear as he reviews the upcoming movie, Machiavelli Hangman:

Peter Gribaldi