Stay Until Tomorrow, writer and director Laura Colella's second feature film, has successfully returned the true quality to the independent film genre. Arguably, in recent years, the true independent film has died thanks to the influx of major production companies into this once flourishing art form.
In a year, when Sideways a wonderful but decidedly mainstream film swept the IFC Awards the coffin of independent film seemed to be nailed shut and perverted into little more than a marketing term for people seeking the creative new genius that art house cinemas once served. Thanks to Providence native Laura Colella and her fellow producer Amy Geller the art and genius of independent film has now returned to the big screen with the July 14th New York premiere of Stay Until Tomorrow at The Pioneer Theater(155 East Third Street).
Filmed in Providence, Rhode Island and Paris; Colella's Stay Until Tomorrow is an almost perfect film combining true originality and artistic beauty. Her unique narrative which combines a film within a fictional film may at first confuse the dim theater patron, but will give true joy to the more advanced film aficionado.
Stay Until Tomorrow is the story of Nina (Eleanor Hutchins), a penniless former child star, world traveler, and professional freeloader who appears uninvited at the apartment of Jim (Barney Cheng). Jim, a librarian, is unable to escape Nina's clueless intrusion even at work where she use the Providence Public Library to study Italian and engage in meaningless sexual encounters on the roof of the building after being seduced by a Russian born security guard. Nina soon adopts the roof as her third residence where she carries on a raw and purely sexual relationship with a high school student Tonio (Eddie Bernard). Bernard gives a brief but brilliant performance which is reminiscent of a young Richard Gere in Looking for Mr. Goodbar. However the true linchpin of this film is the Oscar worthy performance of Eleanor Hutchins, who has the potential of becoming one of the grand dames of world cinema.
It can only be hoped that this fine film is given the chance at a national audience, so the American public can once again see film making at its best.
_William John Hagan William_Hagan@Excite.com