The notion that possessing a firearm, for most people in a civilized society, is a rare and fascinating thing is the ideological underpinning of Japanese thriller “The Gun 2020.”
The pitch may have its limits in the U.S., but in the hands of director Masaharu Take (“100 Yen Love” “Netflix’ “The Naked Director”) the story flows from a student’s accidental discovery of a handgun, right when she needs it, through to the slaying of a neighbor, and to a police chase. Along the way the back story of both the gun and the woman become clearer.
The film stars “Shoplifters” standout Lily Franky as a detective, alongside Kyoko Hinami and Koichi Sato. It is conceived as a sequel of sorts to Take’s “The Gun” which also started with the discovery of a weapon, and was presented at the autumn 2018 edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival.
Heading to a commercial release, through the powerful Toho, “The Gun 2020” is one of two additions to the sales slate of Free Stone Productions. The other, in an altogether different register, is “Our Story.”
The film pitches together a disillusioned high school student and his shining star female classmate. Both are prodigies who have written novels, but with contrasting levels of success. When the two are forced to work together on their next book they are obliged to discover more about themselves, each other and, eventually their secrets. The film is directed by Shigeaki Kubo and stars Taiki Sato and Kanna Hashimoto.
Both films are being presented at the virtual edition of the Cannes Market. Free Stone Productions, which also dabbles in local and international public relations, is also handling sales on “Dancing Mary,” by the always intriguing Sabu, and Hana Matsumoto’s “Kiss Cam!” (aka “Come on, Kiss Me Again!) which features a company whose task is to patch up broken hearted couples.
All four films are set for 2020 theatrical distribution in Japan. But, with the Japanese releasing calendar only slowly coming together again after the coronavirus hiatus, only one, “The Gun” has locked in a firm date – July 10.
Free Stone is also handling feature-length documentary, “Quest for the Kraken: Mystery of the Deep.” Directed by Shinichi Motoki, the film is available in 75-minute and 50-minute formats.