Known for his obsessive explorations of sexuality, religion, music and history via a prism of stylized excess, filmmaker Ken Russell continually courted controversy, finding himself alternately accused of being a purveyor of filth by his detractors, and hailed as a visionary and the successor to Fellini by his supporters. After winning acclaim for early biographical dramas that included "Elgar" (1962) and "Song of Summer" (1968), Russell stunned theatergoers and critics alike with his adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's "Women in Love" (1969). From this point forward, the director seemed far less interested in being a critical darling than in becoming a cinematic agent provocateur of the highest order. Films like "The Devils" (1971), "Tommy" (1975), "Altered States" (1980), "Crimes of Passion" (1984) and "Whore" (1991) where just as likely to attract praise and box office success as they were condemnation, if not outright censorship. A period of unremarkable made-for-television projects in the mid-1990s preceded a series of self-produced video shorts, sporting titles like "The Fall of the House of Usher: A Gothic Tale for the 21st Century" (2002) and "Revenge of the Elephant Man" (2004). Despite the paucity of budget and the limited distribution of these latter films, one thing was for certain - the mercurial filmmaker was still making precisely the movies he wanted to make, and love him or loathe him, there was no mistaking Ken Russell's work for that of anyone else.