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The Independent Critic

Michael Coppola, Gene Ravvin
Mark Battle
19 Mins.

 "The Music" Set for World Premiere at SNOB Film Fest 

There is a quiet elegance to writer/director Mark Battle's latest film, The Music, a follow-up to his 2013 short film The Janitor about a hitman "cleaner" who faces a moral dilemma when he arrives on-site to discover that the job isn't quite complete. Set for its world premiere at the SNOB Film Festival in Concord, New Hampshire, The Music re-introduces to that same cleaner, Dominic, again played by Michael Coppola, who decides that he's finished with cleaning and makes plans to disappear. 

Much of The Music unfolds against the backdrop of Duncan Watt's jazzy, almost resigned music that wouldn't feel out of place in Scorsese's latest The Irishman. In fact, it's hard not to see The Music as a branch on that film's family tree, both films possessing a quiet resignation and grief that is immersive and enveloping. 

While technically a sequel, The Music easily stands on its own and should easily find the same success as its predecessor if not more so as Battle has clearly grown as a filmmaker and Coppola's performance is even more deeply felt and mesmerizing. In this film, which takes place 10 years after the events in The Janitor, Dominic makes a decision that will change his life forever. 

Battle's lensing for the film is pristine yet gritty, while Mary Hronicek's production design for the film is natural and authentic. 

Ultimately, as was true for The Janitor, The Music belongs to Michael Coppola and in just under 20 minutes he gives us one of 2019's most rewarding short film performances. Gene Ravvin, as Miklos, is also quite good here while Maria Natapov and Mary Hronicek round out the cast with brief yet effective performances. 

The Music will screen as an official selection at SNOB, which stands for "Somewhat North of Boston," and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see this film snag a lengthy festival run. 

For more information on The Music, visit its Facebook page linked to in the credits. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic