It is happening again.
A tiny snippet of dialogue from a long-ago Twin Peaks episode has become the tagline for Showtime’s series revival from David Lynch, which world premiered Friday night at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Diane, every little detail was eerily familiar, disorienting, dreamy, deeply unsettling. In other words, perfection. Peak Peaks.
I can’t say much, if anything, about the two episodes that 1,600 members of the crew, friends of the network and working press saw in the surrealistic setting of the Ace’s crimson-drenched Dali painting of a movie theater. Everyone inside is under strict orders to reveal nothing ahead of its Sunday night premiere on Showtime.
David Lynch may have discovered the height of his powers
“We want everyone to experience it as you experience it tonight,” Showtime president David Nevins said from the stage.
Oh, what that you could.
Between the Ace’s eerie vibe, the anticipation of being the first humans to see the first major David Lynch creation onscreen in 11 years and the afterparty — oh my stars, that glorious afterparty — this was a Twin Peaks experience that every fan deserves to have.
Mashable got lots of photographic evidence.
But before we dive in, here’s what I do feel at liberty to say about those episodes we saw: Lynch has lost nothing. In fact, he’s learned some new tricks, refined his old ones, maybe even found the height of his powers. This is no mere revisitation; there is new ground broken. And if you feel goosebumps as you read that, good. That’s good.
You’re going to need them.
It is happening … again.
Arriving the Ace Hotel
The night began at 5:30 p.m. at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, just a few short blocks from where I live. The classic movie palace, built in 1927, could not have been better casting.
Inside the lobby, drinks, snacks and yes — donuts, pie, and coffee. Diane, as you know I do not drink coffee after 4 p.m., so I cannot speak to its quality.
Even the matches were Twin Peaks themed:
Photos weren’t allowed inside the theater. I can tell you that it was red with glory.
Lynch spoke last, with a version of a speech he’s given before.
“I love trees,” which always gets a laugh. “I love wood. I love to cut wood. Tonight, we’re going to a place where the trees are primarily Douglas firs. Douglas firs are a beautiful tree. And if we’re very quiet, we can hear the wind rustling the needles.”
And then it happened. Before Friday, only a handful of people had seen the premiere — Lynch, network brass, some editors. Then there were 1,600 more.
Outside, a few flourishes greeted guests as they streamed out, crackling with energy over what they had just seen:
LA’s own Broadway Ave. was shut down to make way for the parade of guests — and this real-life logging truck that was driven down from Big Bear:
Guests leaving the Ace hoofed it a few city blocks down to the gloriously remodeled and recently re-opened Clifton’s Republic, a Los Angeles institution and, quite possibly, my favorite bar in the world.
As much as Clifton’s seems inspired by Twin Peaks, it’s more likely that Twin Peaks is inspired by Clifton’s
Clifton’s is a four-level complex that began as a large-scale cafeteria-style eatery in the 1930s, known for its kitchy, woodland-themed decor — stuffed animals, fake trees, water features, exquisitely campy dioramas — and was closed from 2010 until 2015 for extensive renovations. It’s now part cafeteria, part bakery, and many parts nightclub, speakeasies, tiki bars — you have to visit more than once to take it all in, and you have to know where the doors are.
As much as Clifton’s may seem like it’s inspired by Twin Peaks, the truth is, it’s more than likely that Twin Peaks is inspired by Clifton’s. Already a faux hunting lodge of sorts, they sure didn’t have to dress it up much.
Showtime did anyway, of course, and its decorations and installations took up the entire complex, flooding us with Peak-ness from the moment we walked in the door:
You better believe there was a “red room,” a perfect replication of the place Agent Cooper knows all too well after all these years. I can also say that the gum you like is going to come back in style.
Diane, there was fine food and drink to be found everywhere. And you better believe there were themed cocktails and donuts:
Everywhere, Laura Palmer haunted us. She is dead. And yet she is living. (It makes more sense if you say it backward.)
Lynch likes trees. Clifton’s has them.
Including this big beauty, right in the middle of it all, jutting through the complex’s open center.
At the base of the tree, the Chromatics — a perfect Twin Peaks band if we’ve ever seen one — performed later that night.
Upon entry, guests were handed these cards to guide them … somewhat. Clifton’s, like Twin Peaks, is tricky to navigate, and never reveals all of its secrets.
As for those “takeaway treats,” a slice for the road. Diane, they were cherry, from Pie Hole, and they were delicious.
It is happening again … Sunday night on Showtime.