Thanks to a series of independent films that cumulatively could be best described as disturbing, writer-director Todd Solondz courted controversy and outrage among audiences and critics while leaving an indelible mark upon the filmmaking world. Solondz made his official debut following a debacle first film with "Welcome to the Dollhouse" (1995), a heartbreaking yet hilarious chronicle of junior high school life as seen through the eyes of a put-upon young girl. This auspicious debut garnered the filmmaker much attention, which he parlayed into his next film, "Happiness" (1998), a truly dark and twisted film that generated controversy and scorn, mainly due to his sympathetic presentation of a pedophile. Regardless of its hard-to-stomach elements, "Happiness" forced audiences and critics to take note. But Solondz squandered any leftover goodwill from "Welcome to the Dollhouse" with "Storytelling" (2002), which caused critics to lash out over his alleged disdain for his characters - a criticism he wholeheartedly embraced. He confused the few moviegoers who saw his nearly self-financed "Palindromes" (2004), an avant-garde dramedy that focused on a lead character played by 10 different actors of varying ages, races and genders, while handling tough subjects like abortion, child molestation and statutory rape. But by the time he directed "Life During Wartime" (2010), a companion piece to "Happiness," Solondz had re-emerged as a hailed filmmaker once again, back in the good graces of critics and audiences.