Film academic and critic Peter Brunette died of a sudden heart attack at age 66 Wednesday morning at the Taormina Film Festival. I knew him well. We’d do round tables together at Cannes, share post-screening takes standing by our mail boxes at the Palais, or hang in line at Telluride. He was an infectious film enthusiast, and a canny film writer. He paid for his festival jaunts with freelance income. During the year he was a full-time professor at Wake Forest University, where he was director of their film studies program and published several film books, on Michael Haneke and Wong Kar Wai, among others. I will sorely miss him.
He was on assignment covering various summer European film festivals for THR, which posts some of his video reviews. Here’s critic Sean Means, who offers a sampling of Brunette’s reviews. And here’s indieWIRE.