Henry Kenneth Alfred "Ken" Russell (3 July 1927 – 27 November 2011)
British film critic Mark Kermode, attempting to sum up the director's achievement, called Russell, "somebody who proved that British cinema didn't have to be about kitchen-sink realism—it could be every bit as flamboyant as Fellini. In the final period of his directing careers he makes what have been described as very strange experimental films such as Lion's Mouth and Revenge of the Elephant Man, and they which are considered to be as edgy and out there as some of the work he made in the 1970s".
Martin Scorsese and Sir Ben Kingsley lead tributes to 'extraordinary' Ken Russell
Martin Scorsese and Sir Ben Kingsley pay tribute to the legendary British film and television director who has passed away aged 84.
Scorsese, who begun making films when Russell was in his pomp in the late 1960s, said his personal favourites were the director's documentaries for the BBC, including those on Rossetti and the history of British folk music.
The American director, who recently lent his hand to documentaries on musical icons Bob Dylan and George Harrison, also hailed Russell for bringing classical and other lesser known forms of music to a cinematic audience, praising, "the way he made it possible for people that may not have been exposed to that [to] understand."
British actor Sir Ben Kingsley also praised Russell for translating the "creative genius" of several classical composers onto the silver screen.
He added: "He was a charming, delightful, highly intelligent man. It's a big loss to cinema."
Must see films: Altered States, The Devils, Elgar, Women in Love.