Seymour Bernstein is a piano virtuoso (probably the best piano player you’ve never heard of) and just the type of inspirational figure that seems deserving of recognition (almost every quip from Bernstein is just dripping with a Zen-like wisdom). His life goal has been to make other’s lives better through the study of music, and throughout his 87 years he has accumulated quite the reservoir of stories, anecdotes, and advice.
Ethan Hawke’s documentary ‘Seymour: An Introduction’ is a magnificent film and artistic achievement. It is a study in what documentary filmmaking should look like. Never stale, engrossing, and organically propelled; Hawk unleashes Seymour Bernstein and lets him tell his story (and some other tangential stories) in his own words and style.
Through well-edited and expertly arranged vignettes viewers are introduced to the man and character of Seymour Bernstein. He has lived quite the life and overcome more than his share of obstacles. It is a fascinating story and it is made all the more vivid as it comes directly from Bernstein himself rather than the typical dry and calculated documentary manner.
Beyond just content this is a well-made film with excellent cinematography and music. Through subtle camera angles and exquisite musical choices the pacing of this movie engages the viewer without doing all the work for them. It literally draws you in and keeps you fascinated for its entire 81 minute run time.
‘Seymour: An Introduction’ is a must watch documentary with life lessons for even the least musically inclined. It is about artistry, pursuing something you love, and devoting yourself to a cause that makes you happy. In short its about the good life lived.