Behind the ScenesFilm composer Emile Mosseri on the art of setting music to film.

Behind the ScenesFilm composer Emile Mosseri on the art of setting music to film.

Issue 50

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Music

  • Words Tara Joshi
  • Photograph Joe Talbot

The American composer Emile Mosseri creates evocative, delicate soundscapes for film and television. In recent years that’s included Kajillionaire, The Last Black Man in San Francisco and Minari, for which he received an Oscar nomination. His scores quietly stir something in the viewer, informing how we understand and interpret what we’re seeing on screen. Here he reveals how the composer is an essential player in helping a director bring a story to life.     

Tara Joshi: How did you get into writing music for films?

Emile Mosseri: I found it as a teenager, through [composer] Danny Elfman and Edward Scissorhands. I fell in love with it. I fell in love with Winona Ryder, but I realized the music was doing a lot of that too—it’s such an unapologetically romantic, sweeping score...

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