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In a country where firearms are standard issue for police officers but strictly regulated for everyone else, such weapons exert a strange fascination.

In Masaharu Take’s “The Gun” (2018), a nihilistic university student slowly succumbs to the allure of violence after coming into possession of an illicit weapon. Adapted from the debut novel by Fuminori Nakamura, it’s an effective existentialist noir, much like Shinya Tsukamoto’s “Bullet Ballet” if the main character had stayed at home reading Albert Camus instead of cavorting with gangsters.

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