As you will know, Ken Russell died on 27th November, 2011. Ken's films are hugely imaginative, wildly inventive, incredibly infuriating and absolutely unforgettable, and the fact that he was able to make them at all is a testament to a long gone time when the arts were an essential and central part of film and TV's remit, not just something to stick on a satellite channel that no-one watches.
Over the next few months, we'll take a look at Ken's work: not everything, and in no particular order, just as it occurs to me. Having seen virtually all of Ken's films before, I know it will be both a pleasure and an ordeal - he's an all or nothing kind of director. Andre Bazin described an auteur as a director who uses the camera as a pen; Ken Russell used the camera as a spray can, daubing his ideas onto the screen in garish dayglo colours, often in the shape of a huge cock and balls. Rest in peace, Ken.