Former Mason Professor Brunette Dies

Posted: June 18, 2010 at 1:01 am, Last Updated: June 17, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Peter C. Brunette, professor of English at Mason from 1975 to 2004, died suddenly on June 16 while attending the Taormina Film Festival in Italy as a representative of The Hollywood Reporter. A heart attack is suspected. He was 66.

At the time of his death, Brunette was Reynolds Professor of Film Studies and director of the Film Studies Program in the Departments of Art and Communication at Wake Forest University.

While at Mason in 2000, Brunette was honored with the Award for Scholarship by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (then called the College of Arts and Sciences).

The author or editor of eight books on film theory and film directors, Brunette directed Mason’s Film and Media Studies Program and coordinated the Johnson Center Cinema Series.

Brunette and fellow English professor Margaret Yocom donated to Mason hundreds of film press kits dating from the 1960s to 2000, creating the Motion Picture Press Kit Collection in University Libraries Special Collections and Archives.

In addition to his work for The Hollywood Reporter, Brunette had been a film critic for Film.com, indieWIRE.com and Screen International. During his career, he also wrote frequently for the New York Times Arts & Leisure section and the Boston Globe, as well as many other journals and newspapers.

At the time of his death he was writing a book on Italian director Luchino Visconti and was to edit “A Companion to Italian Cinema” for Blackwell Publishing.

Before joining Mason, Brunette taught briefly at the Université de Paris III (La Sorbonne); the University of Maryland’s European division in Livorno, Italy; and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.

Brunette had BA and MA degrees from Duquesne University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, his wife died a few years ago and his nearest surviving relative is a sister, Rose Dean.

Notices of his passing and places to post comments are on The Hollywood Reporter and Indiewire.com.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu