A Basketball Diary

Matthieu Kassowitz cut himself a niche in world cinema with the explosive urban drama L’Haine in 1998. Eight years before, he had explored some of the same racial issues in this charming silent short called Fierrot Le Pou. The influence of Godard is apparent in the title, but the lightness of touch is the director’s own.

A youthful Kassowitz takes the lead. Add some grit and a decade or so and you will recognise him from The Fifth Element and Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, which was partly shot in Ireland. It seems his amiable co-star, Solange Labonne, never made another film.