Last year IFC, backed by sponsor Scion launched The Road to Individuality Contest searching for what would become IFC.com’s next web series. After subjecting themselves to audience criticism and a panel of IFC and Scion judges, Cutting Ties emerged victorious and has now nearly completed it’s first five episode run.
The premiere episode of the show is presented with a noirish feel, and produced with guidance from IFC, and the experienced hands of brothers Sam Powell and Peter Neudel of Boston-based Realeyez Independent Cinema.
Powell stars as Evan, a man with a lackluster life, career, and marriage. The status quo of Evan’s mundane existence is interrupted when a series of pranks start to haunt him. The prankster is eventually revealed as Evan’s conscience making an attempt to destroy Evan’s penchant for order and structure in daily living.
As Evan’s conscience continues to sabotage his relationships both personal and professional most simply dismiss his frustrations as a mid-life crisis. Unfortunately the show often loses out to its existential premise hitting the same note of Evan’s frustrations with himself, and his life. Additionally, the tone of the show is also uncertain hitting genre conventions of a noir thriller with comedic and dramatic interruptions leaving the audience a bit confused as to how to feel.
Ultimately the stake of Evan’s frustrations don’t feel desperate or real enough to keep coming back for more, but IFC should be applauded for their continued efforts to take risks and promote indie creators with compelling ideas (see last year’s Pushing Twilight which came from a contest sponsored by Red Bull). For content creators willing to go the contest route IFC should be a regular stop as each year they seem to attract big sponsors will to front the money for content that is allowed to remain indepedent and not hock a product. When Scion’s willing to back a existential idea it still feels that the web creations can remain revolutionary even with corporate backing.