Northwest Passage to Explore a Dark Side of Twin Peaks Fandom

By  · Published on May 23rd, 2015

American Broadcasting Company

Crowdfunding sites are filled with documentaries involving fandom. I think there have been five just focused on the love of Back to the Future. But here’s one that’s unlike all the rest. Northwest Passage is about one teenage boy’s unhealthy obsession with Twin Peaks. That’s unhealthy as in it influenced him towards drug and alcohol abuse and prostitution, because he considered Laura Palmer a role model.

Travis Blue grew up near Snoqualmie Falls and North Bend, Washington, where David Lynch filmed much of his early ’90s TV series. He hung around the set, met cast members and eventually started attending Twin Peaks Fan Festivals and following in the footsteps of Palmer, whose murder was the center of the show’s story. Blue’s descent over 12 years is the center of this true coming-of-age tale.

The documentary, which has been shooting for the past four years, is currently seeking funds through Kickstarter and only has a week and a half left in its campaign to raise the rest of its $60k goal. Director Adam Baran, who is making his feature debut with the doc, is best known in the film and LGBT community as co-curator of NYC’s Queer/Art/Film series at the IFC Center. Helping him out are Tarnation director Jonathan Caouette and Room 237 producers P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes.

Northwest Passage definitely reminds me of Tarnation, not because it’s also about a gay teen coming of age, but mainly for its aesthetic, as seen in the trailer part of the campaign video down below. Baran also compares it to narrative features My Own Private Idaho and Mysterious Skin and says it will appeal to other fans of Twin Peaks, as well as the shows it has inspired, including the current series True Detective.

The Kickstarter campaign, though, will primarily appeal to fans of Twin Peaks, as most of the perks are related to that show. There’s even a new incentive with personal involvement from series regular Kimmy Robertson (Lucy). Based on perk delivery estimates, the doc seems like it will be ready for digital distribution this fall. Hopefully withe the show returning to TV soon, there will be a lot of interest in this.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.