It's been 13 years since American History X, the Edward Norton drama about neo-Nazis in Venice Beach, became a cause célèbre after director Tony Kaye tried to take his name off the credits (and replace them with the words ''directed by Humpty Dumpty''). Now the always unpredictable British-born artist-turned-filmmaker is finally releasing his second narrative film. It's called Detachment and stars Adrien Brody as a disaffected substitute teacher who rediscovers his humanity after befriending a prostitute (Sami Gayle). James Caan, Christina Hendricks, Marcia Gay Harden, and Kaye's daughter, Betty Kaye, also have roles. Why did Kaye wait such a long time to return? ''I was keeping busy, trying to learn to write songs and paint a bit better,'' he explains. ''I tried to make other movies. I shot most of a Laurence Fishburne film, Black Water Transit, but we ran out of funding. I had an office on the Paramount lot for a year, trying to make a movie about a fight to the death in a prison. But British directors always fall into a void at some point in their careers. Even Ridley Scott, the most successful of us all, disappeared before he came back big. This was my void. Please, God, let this be my void.''