Ethan Hawke with Seymour Bernstein. Photo by Philip May.

Ethan Hawke is the featured spotlight in this week's episode of The Close-Up, the Film Society of Lincoln Center's podcast series.

Hawke won acclaim last year for his role in Richard Linklater's Boyhood, for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In his latest project to hit the big screen, Seymour: An Introduction, Hawke goes (mostly) behind the camera. The documentary is Hawke's first nonfiction work.

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The film explores the life and lessons of legendary artist Seymour Bernstein, who had an illustrious career as a pianist before dedicating himself entirely to teaching. The touching film screened at last year’s New York Film Festival, where it received standing ovations. It’s a lucid portrait of a brilliant and generous man as well as an inspirational film about the patience, concentration, and devotion fundamental to the practice of art and life. Seymour: An Introduction is currently playing in theaters.

During NYFF52, the Film Society paid tribute to Ethan Hawke with an intimate dinner followed by a discussion with NYFF programming director Kent Jones. The lively and illuminating conversation traced Hawke’s extensive career as an actor from Dead Poets Society to Boyhood as well as his development as a director.

Seymour himself joined the conversation after Hawke admitted that in order to understand his reason for making the film, one would have to hear him play. Bernstein then treated the crowd to a lovely rendition of a Brahms Intermezzo. It was the perfect ending to a truly inspiring evening.