Widely respected American film critic and scholar Peter Brunette died this morning while visiting the Taormina Film Festival.

He suffered a heart attack. Funeral details are not yet known.

Brunette, 66, was currently a critic for The Hollywood Reporter. He previously wrote for Screen International from 2003-2008, and had been a critic for Film.com and indieWIRE and wrote for many other publications.

Since 2004, he was also the Reynolds Professor of Film Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

His books include works on Roberto Rossellini, Derrida, Antonioni, and Wong Kar-wai. He was also general editor of a film-maker interview series at the University Press of Mississippi; over 60 books have already been published in this series.

His most recent publication was a book published in February about Michael Haneke by the University of Illinois Press. At the time of his death, he was also at work on a book on Italian director Luchino Visconti and was planning to edit A Companion To Italian Cinema for Blackwell Publishing.

Brunette also did the soundtrack commentary for Antonioni’s Blow-up, and recently served as a co-commentator on the Criterion Collection’s DVDs of Truffaut’s Shoot The Piano Player and Fellini’s Amarcord and wrote essays for two other Criterion DVDs.

Brunette earned his BA and MA in English from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and his PhD from the University of Wisconsin. His previous academic posts were at The Sorbonne, The University of Maryland and George Mason University, where he worked form 1975-2004 before moving to North Carolina for the Wake Forest post.