HBO’s ‘The Leftovers’ shooting in Austin

The second season of HBO’s often intriguing, often exceptionally depressing series “The Leftovers” has moved its production from New York to Austin.

The second season will take place in Texas rather than upstate New York. Returning cast members include Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Chris Zylka, Christopher Eccleston and Carrie Coon.

The show’s first season was based on Tom Perrotta’s 2011 novel of the same name, about life after 2 percent of the population worldwide vanished with no explanation. The second season is slated to feature original material.

Though there is no word as to whether the show will be set in Austin, it seems unlikely, given that the first season was set in a fictional town. That said, anyone who commutes on Interstate 35 has likely dreamed of Austin with 2 percent fewer people.

Slackerwood shutters

The Austin-based, Austin-focused movie news website Slackerwood ( will cease posting new material May 27, Slackerwood editor Jette Kernion says.

“I feel like it’s time for me to move on,” Kernion said on the site.

“Why close the site?” she wrote. “Because Slackerwood doesn’t deserve an even slightly restless editor, to paraphrase Jon Stewart. Editing and publishing Slackerwood, while often delightful and rewarding, is a time-consuming job. After nine years, I’d like to spend that time doing other things, like more writing.

“Why May 27?” she continued. “Because I consider that the ninth anniversary of Slackerwood. I had posted a few blog entries earlier in April 2006 just to get the feel of things, but the first post anyone really read was on May 27, 2006. And after that, I started posting articles regularly … and now in 2015, here we are.”

Slackerwood was and is a terrific site covering this city’s singular scene with verve. Cheers and good luck to all who worked on it.

Cine Las Americas winners

Cine Las Americas has announced the winners of the 18th annual film festival, which concluded April 26.

Peruvian director Enrica Pérez’s “Climas” took the jury award for best narrative feature, while Anna Recalde Miranda’s “Power and Impotence: A Drama in 3 Acts” took the juried documentary feature prize.

Irene Gutiérrez and Javier Labrador’s “Hotel Nueva Isla” took a special jury prize in cinematography, while Juan Pablo González’s “The Solitude of Memory” took the Hecho en Tejas/Texas Archive of the Moving Image award. The audience award for narrative feature was tied between Brazilian director Iberê Carvalho’s “The Last Drive-In” and Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gerber Bicecci’s “A Separate Wind,” while the documentary audience award went to Alexander Preuss’ “Three Women Warriors.”

Check out the Austin Movie Blog for a full list of winners.

Upcoming screenings

So, 100 percent of the screens at the Alamo Ritz (meaning both of them) Friday have been dedicated to nothing but “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Seven screenings, all Avengers.

Saturday, the “Ultron” screenings are joined by a 2:45 pm screening of Orson Welles’ striking, three-years-in-production adaptation of “Othello” (which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1952) paired with Welles’ underseen short “Return to Glennascaul,” an Irish ghost story.

Sunday, there are 7 p.m. and 10:05 p.m. screenings of Jon Schnepp’s fascinating-looking “The Death of ‘Superman Lives’: What Happened?” — a 104-minute look at the collapse of one of the most talked-about prospective movies of the late 1990s: The Tim Burton-directed, Kevin Smith-scripted “Superman Lives” was supposed to star Nicolas Cage as Superman. (Coming as it did as the “Internet 1.0” boom was just getting underway, I distinctly remember following news of this troubled production online.)

Burton, Smith, Jon Peters, Dan Gilroy, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and many others sat down to chat about one of the all-time most interesting movies that never happened. Schnepp and producer Holly Payne will have a live Q&A after the film.

If you need some serious “Avengers” counterprogramming, know that the Austin Film Society is hosting a minifestival — a “New French Cinema Weekend,” if you will — Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Features include Ioanis Nuguet’s “Spartacus and Cassandra,” Marianne Tardieu’s “Insecure” and Guillaume Brac’s “Tonnerre.” Nuguet and Tardiue will be in attendance discussing today’s French film industry along with Xavier Massé, deputy director of the Premiers Plan film festival, and Premiers Plan programmer Arnaud Gourmelen. Tickets are $35 for the series. Check out for details.

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