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Stars that died 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Peter Brunette, American film critic (The Hollywood Reporter), has died of heart attack. he was , 66

Film historian, author and critic Peter Brunette died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack in Italy while attending the Taormina Film Festival on behalf of The Hollywood Reporter. He was 66.

Brunette had been reviewing films on assignment for THR for the past four years, in addition to his writing duties and work as a professor of film studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

The news of his death sent ripples through Taormina and the Italian and U.S. film community. The festival canceled its early evening press cocktail reception, and fest artistic director Deborah Young said she would make an announcement and call for a moment of silence in honor of Brunette ahead of the evening's screening in the Teatro Antico.

"Peter was such a wonderful man, a dear friend and a wonderful colleague," said Young. "The whole festival is in absolute shock over Peter's passing.

"I saw him the night before at the bar briefly. He was so happy and having such a good time covering the festival."

Young, who, in addition to her role as Taormina's artistic director, is the chief international critic for THR, said Brunette had indicated for years that he wanted to attend the Taormina event. He did so for the first time this year.

"I'm glad that Peter finally had a chance to come to Taormina," Young said. "But that is a small condolence for the passing of a person as warm and as well liked as Peter."

Brunette had complained to several people the day before of being tired after a long car trip through France, Spain and Morocco after the Festival de Cannes, which he also helped cover for THR. Brunette was planning to spend the entire summer at various festivals on behalf of THR, culminating in Venice in September, where he would be reviewing movies and shepherding a film class.

"Peter's insights into moviemaking and his enthusiasm for films was infectious. We were honored to have him as a member of our reviewing family. He will be sorely missed," said THR editor Elizabeth Guider.

Kirk Honeycutt, THR's chief film critic, said, "Hanging out with Peter at festivals and, in more recent years, working closely with him as a colleague was one of my major joys in going to these events. Peter was such a warm and engaging person as well as a such a bon vivant, as we and others shared long dinners with generous amounts of wine, that I cannot imagine any of these festivals being the same without him."

Brunette, who lived for a while in France and spoke several European languages, was a fixture on the major fest circuit for 25 years. He reviewed films for several other publications prior to THR, including Screen International and indieWIRE.
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