Seymour: An Introduction DVD Review
“Seymour: An Introduction” is an involving documentary.
Although he steps in front of the camera here a few times, “Seymour: An Introduction” finds veteran actor Ethan Hawke stepping behind the camera to helm this documentary film. The subject of said documentary is pianist Seymour Bernstein. If you’ve never heard of the musician before, you’re certainly not alone, but the documentary was partially meant to put the spotlight on this little known music master.
To give readers a little recap on Seymour Bernstein, he’s a mild mannered New Yorker who lives quietly and simply. He was an acclaimed pianist who gave up his career in order to become a piano teacher. As you will see through the course of the documentary, he’s a veritable musical genius whose passion for music is infectious. Aside from talking about music, Bernstein delves into many deep conversations about careers, philosophies, artistry, his time in the army, his own piano teacher, religion, and more. We also get to see footage of his first public show in 35 years which is a moving experience to say the least.
From start to finish, “Seymour: An Introduction” feels like a very personal film for Ethan Hawke. As we find out early on, Seymour helped out Ethan Hawke and it’s clear he wanted to pay tribute to the man by essentially sharing him with the world.
At 81 minutes, the documentary moves quick as the viewer drifts into the world of Seymour Bernstein. In fact, the movie moves a little too quick as the editing is a bit odd at points. Regardless, it is a tight documentary that doesn’t have an ounce of fat. Everything here has a purpose and a meaning. Could there have been more added? Sure, but this is after all, just an introduction to Seymour.
Presentation: 1.78:1. Grade: A-
Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. Grade: A-
* IFC Films trailers and a “Seymour: An Introduction” trailer.
* Seymour Bernstein In Concert- The full 44 minute performance as seen in the film mixed with some Bernstein conversations. This is essentially a companion piece to “Seymour: An Introduction.”
Overall Thoughts: While classical music aficionados and piano lovers might get more out of this film than most, “Seymour: An Introduction” will certainly appeal to film lovers. Give it a watch.
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