Subtle and Human: A Review of ‘Seymour: An Introduction’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - March 21, 2015
Subtle and Human: A Review of ‘Seymour: An Introduction’

There is something to be said about the beauty of simplicity in all things.  Seymour: An Introduction is one of those things as it is a movie that gives us a glimpse into an unexpected role model, mentor and truly beautiful individual.

The tale of a genuine veteran New Yorker, Seymour Bernstein, a once successful concert pianist who gave it all up at the highest of his popularity and concert career to become a music teacher and live in a one room apartment.  Seymour shares unforgettable stories with his friend and director Ethan Hawke from his remarkable life and some sage words of wisdom, as well as insightful reflections on art, creativity, and the search for fulfillment from a man who has seemingly found exactly what he was looking for out of life.

A slight, but delightful movie as Seymour: An Introduction allows the passion that people for their respective creativity have a character filled and delightful face. seymour an introduction

As a first time documentarian, director Ethan Hawke actually shows a fair bit of subtlety and skill as he eases us into this world.  For the most part, it actually plays like a dinner party that we as the audience are invited to.  Hawke never tries to hammer us over the head with how amazing out subject really is, but he rather just lets it all unfold naturally in front of our eyes.  It’s just the right balance of interaction, as it doesn’t recite facts to us or just have one guy talking the entire time, it is a fluid introduction to a man.  While Hawke’s reverence for his subject is obvious, it manages to never descend into anything too overt of fawning, we just get to experience this slice of life and as he dives into his insights about creativity and the arts, you can’t help but get drawn in to it all.  This man, was never one to care about the fame or the fortune, but about the nuance of the craft.  We barely see Hawke on screen as he allows Bernstein to teach us his life lessons.  He has such a calming and engaging presence about him, that it’s no surprise that the man is a teacher.

Ultimately a movie about mentors and the special place that they hold in all of our hearts, Seymour: An Introduction does a very special thing as he allows us to experience the wisdom of a man who means so very much to him.  A uniquely personal and entirely relatable film all in one fell swoop which is easily the best thing that Ethan Hawke has ever stepped behind the camera for.

  • Release Date: 3/20/2015
This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.

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