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You're Not Dead Until You're Forgotten: A Memoir by John Dunning & Bill Brownstein


Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 6:30pm


Ben McNally Books

Please join McGill-Queen's University Press and Ben McNally Books in celebrating the launch of You're Not Dead Until You're Forgotten: A Memoir by John Dunning and Bill Brownstein on Thursday, September 11th at 6:30 pm. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

You're Not Dead Until You're Forgotten: A Memoir by John Dunning and Bill Brownstein

McGill-Queen's University Press

Much to his chagrin, John Dunning was born into the movie business. But once he came to accept his career fate, he developed a great passion for making movies, and ultimately became Canada's pre-eminent B-movie producer, with a knack for developing young talent.

In You’re Not Dead until You’re Forgotten, Dunning, in forthright and charming fashion, recounts his rough-and-tumble upbringing in the Montreal suburb of Verdun in the 1930s, his modest start in the film industry behind the candy counter of his family's movie theatre, and later, his ventures into film distribution and production. In the 1960s Dunning, along with financial wizard André Link, founded Cinepix, which eventually merged into the Lionsgate Entertainment film colossus. Specializing in such exploitation genres as raucous comedy, groundbreaking Québécois "maple syrup porn" and horror films, Cinepix churned out cult classics like Valérie, Shivers, Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS, and Meatballs. Dunning's detailed recollections of making these movies provide a rare, candid, and witty take on how the film industry really works. Driven to succeed in the face of arbitrary censors, parochial Canadian critics, and controlling government funding agencies, Dunning and Link developed a formula for producing controversial, moneymaking movies, and helped launch the careers of such luminaries-to-be as David Cronenberg, Ivan Reitman, and Don Carmody.

Cronenberg has called John Dunning "the unacknowledged godfather of an entire generation of Canadian filmmakers." Illustrated with personal photos and film stills, You’re Not Dead Until You’re Forgotten finally gives this pioneer Canadian filmmaker his long-overdue spotlight.

Bill Brownstein has been a columnist at the Montreal Gazette since 1987, commenting on city and cultural life in Montreal. He is the author of books including Schwartz's Hebrew Delicatessen, Montreal 24, Sex Carnival, and Down the Tube. He was born, bred and educated in Montreal. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology from McGill University, which immediately led to a gig washing dishes at the student union of said university. He still washes dishes.

Globe and Mail/Ben McNally Books Authors' Brunch

Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 10:00am

King Edward Hotel

Brunch takes place in the Vanity Fair Ballroom on the 2nd floor of the King Edward Hotel. Tickets are $50.00 each (taxes included).

Please call us at (416) 361-0032 with your credit card information to reserve a ticket.

Dinner with David Mitchell

Saturday, September 20, 2014 - 6:30pm


Hosted by: Ben McNally Books

Meet and dine with David Mitchell, author of The Bone Clocks at grano on Saturday, September 20th, 2014. Cocktails at 6:30 pm, dinner at 7:00 pm.

Tickets are $100 per person (includes full meal with wine, a signed copy of the book, and all taxes). Please call us at (416) 361-0032 to purchase tickets, or send an e-mail to

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