REVIEWS & NEWS

‘Yiannis Niarros impresses as a method actor who finds himself becoming unable to separate performance from real life in writer/director Antonis Tsonis’s mesmerizing film.’
– Kurt Gardner, Arts Beat LA.

Brando with a Glass Eye has much for film lovers to savor. The script is well-crafted, with moments of quirky humor — and it takes off in unexpected directions. Of course, it’s loaded with references to other films and filmmakers. One standout sequence features a surreal birthday celebration that would fit snugly into a Fellini movie.

Brando also benefits from a strong cast. As Luca, Niarros delivers a star-making performance, and he’s supported by other talented actors who make all the relationships convincing.

From a production standpoint, the film looks and sounds great, with sharp cinematography by Jörg Gruber and evocative music by Alexandros Livitsanos.

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‘A remarkable contribution to contemporary cinema.’ -Greek City Times

BRANDO WITH A GLASS EYE premiered on Saturday night on 01/20/24 at the SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL before an incredible audience of filmmakers, actors, critics and slamfans.

BRANDO WITH A GLASS EYE aims to provide a cinematic perspective on American film culture through the lens of a method actor, delving into the enormity that the actor’s persona can attain.

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‘Brando with a Glass Eye signals the arrival of a profoundly interesting writer/director in Melbourne’s own Antonis Tsonis, who marches determinedly to the beat of his own drum.’ Erin Free, Film Inc.

Awash with gorgeous imagery courtesy of cinematographer Jorg Gruber, and rich in a distinctly 1970s-derived aesthetic, Brando with a Glass Eye – executive produced by Wayne Blair and produced by Australia’s Bronte Pictures and Ficino Films – is the swirling, occasionally dreamy tale of Greek mechanic Luca (a big, bold turn from Yiannis Niarros), a wannabe actor with a murky family history potentially on his way to New York to join the legendary Actors Studio.

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‘A remarkable contribution to contemporary cinema.’ – Chris Jones, Overly Honest Movie Reviews.

Journey if you will, into the heart of Athens with BRANDO WITH A GLASS EYE, a film that has a narrative rich with the rawness of life and the beauty of artistic pursuit. Directed by Antonis Tsonis, this movie takes us on a journey with Luca (Yiannis Niarros,) a mechanic whose ambitions soar beyond the confines of his everyday life, and his brother Alekos (Kostas Nikouli,) trapped in the complexities of financial woes and crime. The film’s essence is beautifully captured in the unexpected bond that forms after a heist goes awry, demonstrating the resilience of the human spirit and the relentless pursuit of dreams.

What truly sets this film apart is its exploration of human resilience through the lens of artistry. It poses profound questions about the emergence of true artistic expression from adversity and how life’s hardships forge the soul of an artist. Luca’s journey from the gritty streets of Athens to the cusp of a new life symbolizes the essence of human endurance and the transformative power of ambition.

BRANDO WITH A GLASS EYE transcends the boundaries of a typical drama experience. It is a compelling exploration of life’s complexities, dreams’ power, and art’s redemptive nature. Tsonis has crafted a narrative that provides a thought-provoking commentary on life’s trials and triumphs. This film is a testament to the unyielding power of human connections and the relentless spirit of dreamers, making it a remarkable contribution to contemporary cinema.

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‘Antonis Tsonis [is] the new voice of Greek cinema.’ – Aayush Sharma, Movies we texted about.

Yiannis Niarros is the soul of this weirdly entertaining yet dark story. The story gives him a perfect platform to showcase his impeccable skills as an actor. If a young actor is trying to make his name in the industry and wants to look at a performance that gives them an idea about the craft, they should watch Yiannis’ brilliant performance in this film. His mannerisms and dedication to the craft make Yiannis’ performance so impactful. It is a star-making performance. On the other hand, supporting cast members such as Kostas Nikouli, Alexandros Chrysanthopoulos, Chara Mata Giannatou, Xenia Dania, Maria Kallimani, Giannis Tsortekis, and Alkistis Giraud have done phenomenal work in their respective roles.

All in all, Brando with a Glass Eye is an interesting look at a person’s ambitions. The script is well-crafted and has a lot of quirky situations that make the viewing experience even better. Surprisingly, this is Antonis’ first feature film as a director, and he seems to be the new voice of Greek cinema. A voice that doesn’t get scared to take a bold route to tell a story that’s complex. Truly, Brando with a Glass Eye is a magnificent piece of Greek cinema.

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‘While I’ve seen plenty of heist movies, I haven’t quite seen one quite like writer/director Antonis Tsonis‘ feature Brando with a Glass Eye.’ – Brian Fanelli, Horror Buzz.

While the film is about a heist gone wrong, it’s a heck of a lot more than that. The movie references Hamlet and various other plays, while focusing on a wannabe method actor whose life flips upside down after the botched heist. it also has a knockout performance by its lead, Yiannis Niarros, who stars as Luca.

The film has its share of offbeat elements, including the opening minutes. Luca waves a fake gun in the air, practicing one of the many monologues he recites throughout the film. Because the actor looks right into the camera, it’s a bit of a mind-bending opening. It’s hard to ascertain if Luca is crazy or not, until he breaks the character. After that attention-grabber, the film pushes the narrative along with some high stakes. Luca is offered a scholarship to study method acting in New York City. However, the travel expenses from Greece are on him. Luca works a blue-collar job and can’t afford it. Reluctantly, he agrees to go along with a heist that his brother, Alekos (Kostas Nikouli), orchestrates. It goes horribly wrong from the get-go and Luca ends up shooting an innocent man, Ilias (Alexandros Chrysanthopoulos), though he doesn’t die and Luca, plagued with guilt, visits him in the hospital and befriends him.

This feature has a lot of interwoven narratives, though somehow, Tsonis makes them all work.

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“We are told that theater is about giving everything to art, and Tsonis has done that with his first feature-length film.”— David Ferguson, Movie reviews from the dark.

This story from writer-director Antonis Tsonis is based in Greece, where we find two brothers in dire need of funds. Luca (Yiannis Niarros) is a talented actor who has just received notice that he has been accepted into a prestigious method acting program based in New York City. He needs money for the trip, the tuition, and living expenses. Alekos (Kostas Nikoulis) has a dream of starting his own business. The two come up with the not-so-brilliant idea of a heist to secure the necessary funds.

Predictably, the heist goes bad for these two (previously) non-criminals, and in the ruckus, an innocent bystander gets shot in the stomach. The brothers manage to get away without being caught or identified. Already burdened with the guilt of his mother’s passing, Luca tracks down the gunshot victim, Ilias (Alexandros Chrysanthopoulos) and visits him at the hospital. These visits are a bit funny and quite uncomfortable – making them intriguing to watch. Soon, Luca and the well-to-do Ilias have formed a strange bond of unexpected friendship.

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“Yiannis Niarros is exceptional.” — Dan Skip Allen, From The Fourth Row

Greece Cinema is primarily known as a film industry that mainly focuses on dramatic or sensual types of movies. Though they have been threatened by war or political strife they have had a successful film industry throughout history.  Brando With A Glass Eye from writer/director Antonis Tsonis is another film in a long line of these types of films which Greece has come to be known by.

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“[A] brazen and confident repudiation of pop postmodernism… [and] a comical, breezy affair insofar as farce and fervency harmoniously meet.”— Morris Yang, In Review.

Tsonis’ brazen and confident repudiation of pop postmodernism belies the insecure, bravado-ridden Luca (who forgoes sleep for three nights just to better impersonate a corpse) and locates genuine empathy for him in his gradual moral turn. Keenly mindful of the hermeneutics of suspicion at large in our urbane social relations, Brando with a Glass Eye remains nonetheless a comical, breezy affair insofar as farce and fervency harmoniously meet. When, at the film’s denouement, Luca sacrifices personal for artistic freedom, it’s not merely a solipsistic gesture, but a selfless, learned one.

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‘Antonis Tsonis’ BRANDO WITH A GLASS EYE is an intriguing, realistic, well-acted, multifaceted, thought-provoking, and unpredictable film.’ – Wendy Strickland, Short Redhead Reel Reviews.

After an aspiring Greek actor (Yiannis Niarros), who works as a mechanic, is offered a method acting scholarship at the Method Studio in New York City and then robs a bank in Athens with his brother (Kostas Nikoulis) to get money for the trip that goes awry when an innocent, depressed, piano-playing bystander (Alexandros Chrysanthopoulos) is shot in Antonis Tsonis’ intriguing, realistic, well-acted, multifaceted, thought-provoking, unpredictable, 122-minute film, he ends up befriending the victim, who lives at the home of his detective uncle (Giannis Tsortekis) who married his wealthy mother (Chara Mata Giannatou), as he tries to forgive himself and to rectify his guilt while the friendship and his life take a darker turn.

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‘Brando with a glass eye, Antonis Tsonis’ debut feature film, has its premiere at Slamdance.’ Flix gr.

Θεαματικό ξεκίνημα για τον βραβευμένο σκηνοθέτη. Η πρώτη μεγάλου μήκους ταινία του Αντώνη Τσώνη, «Brando With A Glass Eye», ετοιμάζεται να κάνει την πρεμιέρα της στο επίσημο πρόγραμμα μυθοπλασίας, στο πάντα τολμηρό Φεστιβάλ Slamdance, που γίνεται στη Γιούτα από τις 19 ως τις 26 Ιανουαρίου 2024.

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“Talented directors like Tsonis or performances like Niarros’ are hard to come by.”Alan French, Sunshine State Complex.

The mere mention of Marlon Brando elicits a reaction from most cinephiles. His ties to “method acting” has long provided an inspiration for actors to go too far in the pursuit of their craft. Director Antonis Tsonis utilizes this familiarity to help shortcut the audience to the heart of Brando with a Glass Eye. Utilizing the method actor archetype, Tsonis dives into a dark story of crime, subterfuge, and unusual connections.

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‘[Brando with a glass eye] worms its way into your soul.’ (2024) – Steve Kopian, Unseen Films.

This is a film full of characters and life that worms its way into your soul. By the time the end came I was just staring at the screen delighting in the discovery of Niarros who just knocked it out of the park. It’s a performance that transcends the material and makes it better, forcing us to go along just because his charisma and skill is so great we can’t look away. I was moved. And this isn’t to sell the script short, it’s really good, with lots of twists and unexpected moments, but rather it’s simply to say that Niarros lifts it all up. Highly recommended this is a must see at Slamdance or wherever you can see it.

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Slamdance Film Festival Announces 2024 Lineup – Variety 

The 30th Slamdance Film Festival has announced its complete 2024 lineup, including 32 features, 75 shorts and five episodic titles. Slamdance will take place in-person at Yarrow Hotel in Park City and in Salt Lake City, Utah from Jan. 19-25, and online screenings will be offered on the Slamdance Channel from Jan. 22-28.

Some of the narrative features slated to screen include Omar S. Kamara’s “African Giants,” Tehben Dean and Rasheed Stephens’ “All I’ve Got and Then Some” and Antonis Tsonis’ “Brando with a Glass Eye.”

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New Greek Cinema Makes Europe Debut with ‘Brando with a Glass Eye’ –Tasos Kokkinidis, Greek Reporter

The movie “Brando with a Glass Eye” by Greek director Antonis Tsonis was one of the highlights of the 2024 Slamdance Film Festival, an annual film festival focused on emerging artists in the US.

The movie will make its European premiere in Bulgaria at the Sofia International Film Festival as part of the Official Selection International Competition category with 11 other films. It is supported by the Greek Film Centre, starring Yiannis Niarros, Kostas Nikouli, Yiannis Tsortekis and Maria Kallimani.

Critical acclaim has described the film as “a remarkable contribution to contemporary cinema” and Tsonis as “the new voice of Greek cinema.”

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‘Greek Cinema Shines: ‘Brando with a Glass Eye’ Debuts in Europe, Tsonis Hailed as New Voice’ – Safak Costu, BNN

Emerging from the vibrant heart of Greek cinema, ‘Brando with a Glass Eye,’ directed by the talented Antonis Tsonis, captivated audiences at the 2024 Slamdance Film Festival. As it gears up for its European premiere in Bulgaria at the prestigious Sofia International Film Festival, the film stands out in the Official Selection International Competition category, showcasing the prowess of Greek storytelling on an international stage. Supported by the Greek Film Centre and featuring a stellar cast including Yiannis Niarros, Kostas Nikouli, Yiannis Tsortekis, and Maria Kallimani, the film is celebrated for its profound narrative and has positioned Tsonis as a significant new voice in Greek cinema.

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‘Spectacular start for  award-winning director’ Festivals and Awards, Flix gr

Antonis Tsonis’ first feature film, Brando With A Glass Eye, is set to premiere in the official fiction program at the always daring Slamdance Festival, taking place in Utah from January 19-26, 2024.

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