Wednesday, November 8, 2017

RIP William Weintraub

Montreal Gazette

November 9, 2017

WEINTRAUB, William OC February 19, 1926 November 6, 2017 William Weintraub, a Canadian journalist, author, filmmaker and lecturer, known for his long association with Canada's National Film Board, died in Montreal on Monday, November 6, 2017, at the age of ninety-one. William was predeceased by his beautiful and loving wife of over forty years, Magda (née Landau). He is survived by his cousins, Joseph, Ronald and Herbert Blumer and his nieces, Diana and Joanna Riesman and their children. He will be remembered with great affection by friends and colleagues. Born and educated in Montreal, Weintraub graduated from McGill University where he had worked on the McGill Daily. He began his career as a reporter at The Montreal Gazette in the 1950s, later moving to Weekend magazine. His experience in journalism provided the basis for his 1961 novel Why Rock the Boat? made into a feature length film in 1974. He celebrated the early experience of his contemporaries and friends, Mordecai Richler, Mavis Gallant and Brian Moore in his memoir Getting Started and he himself is among the last of those giants of Canadian literature. Weintraub's satirical 1979 novel The Underdogs provoked controversy by imagining a future Socialist Republic of Quebec, in which English-speakers were an oppressed minority, complete with a violent resistance movement. In a film career spanning decades, Weintraub was involved with more than 150 NFB productions, serving variously as writer, producer and director. Productions ranged from Nahanni to the television series Between Two Wars to a film on obesity A Matter of Fat. His 1993 documentary The Rise and Fall of English Montreal dealt with the second large Quebec diaspora that began in the 1960s and accelerated rapidly after the 1976 Quebec election. In his award-winning films and his writings Weintraub exhibited sometimes biting satire always moderated with humour. Weintraub went on to publish no fewer than three books after his seventieth birthday including City Unique (1996), an exploration of English Montreal in the 1940s and 50s. His last novel Crazy about Lily written in 2005 tells the story of an innocent seventeen-year-old McGill student who falls in love with the famous exotic dancer Lili St. Cyr. In 2003, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Heartfelt thanks to the caring and compassionate management and staff at Château Westmount and his caring and devoted companions throughout, Val Muscalu and Boris Ianev. Graveside service on Thursday, November 9 at 1:00 p.m. at the Maple Grove Section, Mount Royal Cemetery, 1297 ch. de la Forêt. Contributions in William's memory may be made to Combined Jewish Appeal (Federation CJA), (514) 345-2645 ext.: 2600. Arrangements entrusted to Paperman & Sons.

Born: 2/19/1926, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died: 11/6/2017, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

William Weintraub’s western – narrator:
Drylanders - 1963

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