Countdown to ‘Twin Peaks’: David Lynch on the big screen

Peak TV may soon be hitting another Peak(s).

Peak TV may soon be hitting another Peak(s).

As you’re probably aware, Twin Peaks is returning in May, with 18, count ‘em 18 new episodes written by series creators David Lynch and Mark Frost. Lynch directed every episode, too — a tantalizing prospect I used to daydream about during the show’s original, uneven run back in 1990–91. Twin Peaks is coming back on Showtime, so not only will it be free of network censors and commercials, but Lynch and Frost apparently had complete creative freedom. Showtime CEO David Nevins recently provided the pull quote of the year when he characterized the Twin Peaks revival as “the pure heroin version of David Lynch.”

eraserhead_1970s_posterAnyone uncertain of why that pure, unadulterated version of Lynch guarantees a cinematic experience unlike any other should make time for the American Cinematheque‘s “Pie and Coffee — David Lynch Plus” series. Starting tonight, the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood pairs seven Lynch films — a concentrated lineup of cult favorites — with classics by other directors, in double features that feel imaginative but also just right. Many of the films in these matchups point to Lynch’s influences, which he isn’t much given to discussing, and the movies talk to each other — humorously so, in the case of the Eraserhead and Raising Arizona bill.

The seven Lynch films that make up “Pie and Coffee” need no introduction. In the unlikely event you don’t know them already, don’t read a thing about them beforehand; just come and let the movies blow your mind. If you do know them, take note that while Blue Velvet will be shown in a sparkling new DCP restoration, made for last year’s 30th anniversary, the rest are screening in 35mm, an opportunity not to be missed. And you need to hear those Angelo Badalamenti scores on a theater’s sound system.

elephant_man_poster_2aA couple last thoughts: The screening of The Elephant Man on Feb. 16th will be a fine way to pay tribute to the late John Hurt. And I remember how Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and Lost Highway met with critical bafflement if not revulsion on their release, and disappeared from theaters in about three weeks. Over the years it has been satisfying to see them receive their due as part of an underground canon of unforgettable, deeply crazy movies. Like Lynch’s masterpiece Mulholland Dr., they give fresh meaning to the phrase “darkly beautiful.”

COMPLETE SCHEDULE:

All shows play at the Egyptian Theatre, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 3

Mulholland Dr. (2001)

With Sunset Boulevard (1950, directed by Billy Wilder)

Saturday, Feb. 4

Blue Velvet (1986)

With All That Heaven Allows (1955, directed by Douglas Sirk)

1987 Polish poster for BLUE VELVET, by Jan Mlodozeniec.

1987 Polish poster for BLUE VELVET, by Jan Mlodozeniec.

Saturday, Feb. 11

Wild at Heart (1990)

With — but of course — The Wizard of Oz (1939, directed by Victor Fleming)

lost_highway_ver1Thursday, Feb. 16

The Elephant Man (1980)

With Freaks (1932, directed by Tod Browning)

Friday, Feb. 17

Lost Highway (1997)

With That Obscure Object of Desire (1977, directed by Luis Bunuel)

Saturday, Feb. 18

Eraserhead (1977)

With Raising Arizona (1987, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen)

Sunday, Feb. 19

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)

With Lolita (1962, directed by Stanley Kubrick)

Click here for complete info on the Egyptian Theatre website.

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You can watch a typically cryptic teaser for the new Twin Peaks below:

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