I Flunked, But... ★★½

College clowns
Better at shadow puppets
Than economics.
But a passing grade
Guarantees no future.

An early comedy by Ozu, but lacks some of the control of inserting pathos as he would manage in I Was Born, But…. I could tell things were odd when we get a character contemplating suicide quite early in the film without much sense that he was suffering that much (yes, he did flunk, but the film doesn’t really show us how perilous his life will be or what his options are). The early comedy bits, especially the cheating, are fun (I thought one could make a good double feature with Kiarostami’s Where is the Friend’s Home?), as are the scenes between the protagonist and his sort of girlfriend. But it’s also meandering without being particularly productive, and I actually lost track of the protagonist at some point and had no idea what happened to him. “I want to go back to college – we graduated too hastily,” one of the other characters remarks after they can’t find jobs, so it’s not entirely inaccessible.