Cannes Film Fest 2017: Lynch’s New Twin Peaks Premieres to Standing Ovation

Three-time Best Director Oscar nominee David Lynch is a beloved figure at the Cannes Film Fest.  In 1991, he won the top award, the Palme d’Or, for Wild at Heart, a film that was received with equal number of bravos as boos (I was here).

Then in 2002, he served the Jury President here of the main competition, honoring Polanski’s The ianist with the Palme d’Or.

This year, Lynch returned to the Grand Theatre Lumiere wthe two-hour premiere of his Showtime series, Twin Peaks.

Per observers, the standing ovation was one of the lengthier ones at this year’s festival, on par with the premiere of Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, and a minute longer than Netflix’s Okja.

In attendance with Lynch was wife and Twin Peaks star Emily Stofle, as well as Agent Dale Cooper, star Kyle MacLachlan with his wife, Project Runaway EP Desiree Gruber.

It’s the second time that Twin Peaks has been to Cannes Fest: In 1993, Lynch brought the prequel feature film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, which was not well received by critics or viewers (It also failed in the US).

Cannes festival director Thierry Fremaux took the stage, enthusiastically saying: “It’s wonderful to have friends in town who have helped write the history of the event.  Lynch, who won the Palme d’Or for Wild at Heart in 1990 and has gone on to be a festival fixture winning Best Director for 2001’s Mulholland Drive, is adored here.”

Referring to the controversy of including contents not originally made for the big screen (like Top of the Lake: China Girl, the TV series by the 1993 Palme d’Or winner Jane Campion), Fremaux noted,  “If he had done a two-minute animated documentary we would have invited him. The return of David Lynch behind the camera is an event.”

Responding to Fremaux, Lynch yelled back, “I love Cannes!”

Top of the Lake and Twin Peaks are part of the festival’s 70th Anniversary events. Lynch and Showtime limited the amount of PR they’re doing here for Twin Peaks, compared to Top of the Lake: China Girl. There was no press conference for Twin Peaks, or international press day.

Lynch attended Tuesday night’s 70th Anniversary Event and did photo ops with 12 other Palme d’Or winning directors.

As one observer pointed out about keeping the lid on Twin Peaks in Cannes, “The first two episodes are really an overture to something bigger. Lynch knew that he would be bombarded with all these questions of what’s bound to happen in the series, and he can’t really spoil that.”