Seymour: An Introduction

Ethan Hawke (2014)

Last Featured: Dec. 28, 2016

Image Credits: Ramsey Fendall/Mongrel Media

Ethan Hawkes documentary illuminates the generous life of Seymour Bernstein, a renowned virtuoso pianist who gave up a thriving career to inspire students through teaching.

Ethan Hawke, star of stage and screen, was beginning to doubt he was in the right business. Like many fellow actors and creative artists, he felt a sense of fear and inadequacy when performing. He was losing confidence that his work held meaning or relevance, and at a loss for what to do about it. 

One night, Hawke sat down at a dinner table with Seymour Bernstein, and things began to fall back into place. We would all be fortunate indeed to sit at a dinner party with the delightful Mr. Bernstein. Anyone would come away refreshed by his devotion to excellence and his witty and passionate insights into life, the arts, and the nature of creativity. The result of their chance meeting is the extraordinary biopic—directed by Mr. Hawke—Seymour: An Introduction. 

On the surface, Seymour is a quietly charming 87-year-old who has lived most of his life in an unpretentious one-room apartment in New York. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that he was once a renowned virtuoso pianist who gave up a thriving career to teach. His sensibilities, talents and words are extraordinarily inspirational to students and friends, who call him one of the most influential people they’ve ever known. Thankfully, everyone who gives this documentary a chance may now do the same.