Stay Until Tomorrow

Institute History

  • 2000 Directors Lab


Nina enjoyed brief fame as a teenage soap-star, but then quickly disappeared into obscurity. She dropped out of college to travel the world for several years, and now finds herself at the doorstep of her childhood friend, Jim, who works at the public library. He is an accommodating host, despite having just begun a new relationship with Carla, a young co-worker. Nina's latest plan is to spend a few weeks at the library learning Italian, so she can move to Sicily and work for friends who are restoring a theater. Unfortunately, she encounters more distractions than she anticipated, including shadows from her past, trysts on the library rooftop, a sudden desire to consummate her long friendship with Jim, and acid parties thrown by his young neighbors.

The actor playing Jim (for STAY UNTIL TOMORROW is actually a film within a film) is not completely satisfied with the way production is going, and tells us so in recurring voice-overs. He complains that the director is making up the script as she goes along, feels that he is being stereotyped as a quiet, unemotional Asian-American, and wishes they would get a better caterer.

Nina's voice-overs, however, are always in character, and reveal a woman who treasures her drifting as a perpetual search for beauty and new revelations. Her past and present unfurl a kaleidoscope of stories, sometimes comical, and usually complex. We often see momentary flashes of the images that crowd her memory, of people and places from throughout the world. She holds on tightly to her friends scattered around the globe, and longs to have them all converge in one place for a delicious multi-course meal, or even a brief instant.

Meanwhile, the actors playing Jim and Carla make a last-ditch effort to salvage their film from art-house obscurity by trying to come up with a commercially viable ending. But STAY UNTIL TOMORROW is irredeemably about longing and the pursuit of beauty, living in the moment, and complicated stories with no end in sight.

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