Composer Arthur Sharpe (‘The Electrical Life of Louis Wain’) on ‘trying to bring joy to the world’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“The film wants to show the really human side of Louis, the sweet side, the side that cared, the side that loved, the side that tried to bring joy to the world,” declares composer Arthur Sharpe about the titular English artist at the center of biopic “The Electrical Life of Louis Wain,” which was directed by the composer’s brother Will Sharpe, who co-wrote the film with Simon Stephenson.

We talked with Sharpe as part of Gold Derby’s special film composers “Meet the Experts” Q&A event with key Oscar and guild contenders. Watch our exclusive video interview above.

SEE Gold Derby interviews with 2022 Oscar contenders

In “The Electrical Life of Louis Wain,” Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Benedict Cumberbatch stars as eccentric English artist Louis Wain, who rises to prominence at the end of the 19th century for his surreal cat paintings that seemed to reflect his declining sanity. The film co-stars Emmy winner Claire Foy, Emmy nominee Toby Jones and BAFTA nominee Andrea Riseborough and features a score by Sharpe that veers from whimsical to melancholy, ultimately complementing the film’s technicolor look and feel.

“He didn’t want to write a period film,” Sharpe explains about what his director brother was going for. “He didn’t want the film to just be a period film. He wanted to find ways to color it in different ways,” he says. “Also, the theme of electricity being such a big thing in the film and in Louis’ mind; both of those elements gave us an answer in a way of how to simultaneously nod to the period,” he explains.

“We have all sorts of traditional orchestral elements, strings and woodwinds and so on, but then alongside that we’ve brought in the more modern tastes like the theremin and electrical atmospheres and sounds to give it a kind of ‘it’s not quite this, it’s not quite that’ feel, which hopefully is what’s matching that whimsical tone of the film.”

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