HBO Project Greenlight
Rhode Island Int'l
flEXiff Sydney
Queens World FF
WorldFest Houston
Katra Film Series
Big Apple
Film Festival
New York
Zero Film Festival
Soho House

Lily in the Grinder

a short film about existence
directed by Michael Morgenstern

"The closest thing I've experienced to dreaming."
Ryan lives in Brooklyn and looks for a job, maybe in social media or something.
He sits around the house, wanders New York City, and questions the
point of his existence. Bridging experimental and narrative form,
Lily is like attending a live string quartet concert that explodes
into the visual field. The film flits to the future
and past and back while an original score,
written in the style of Béla Bartók,
tells its own piece of the story.
Draped in kaleidoscopic imagery
and crackling with dark humor,
Lily in the Grinder probes sex,
death, and time.
What if
a human life
is a static
four-dimensional entity
that cannot be said to truly begin or end?
What if we already are everything we will ever be?


Full-Length Album
Composed by Rafaël Leloup

Buy film on iTunes

High-Resolution Poster


Limited Edition VHS Tape




Links to scientific and philosophical articles and books which allow further exploration of the concepts presented in the film.

Concert edition of film

Watch with no dialogue.
Like a live string quartet exploding into the visual field.

Writings, essays, poems

Writings and poems written in response to the film.
Director's Statement
Including Michaels essay, Lapsing and Falling and Settling.

Map of the film

I don't believe you need to know what my intentions were
but if you are curious here is a map.
I'd be fascinated to hear how it differs from your experience.

Local Screenings

Watch in a theater, it's way better! Learn more about hosting an event with Lily in the Grinder.

▾ View past screenings ▾

Rhode Island International Film Festival
August 9 at 4:45pm
Paff Theater at URI

August 21 at 7pm
Private apartment

Katra Film Series
August 23 at 8pm
217 Bowery

Pink City International Short Film Festival
September 1-15
Jaipur, India

Newfilmmakers NYC
September 3 at 7:30pm
Anthology Film Archives

Austin Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Alamo Drafthouse
Austin, TX
September 11 at 10am

Newington Armory, Building 22
Sydney, Australia
September 20 & 21
WINNER: Best Short Film

Oakland Underground Film Festival
Humanist Hall
Oakland, CA
September 27

Beinten film festival
Molodost Movie Center, Pyschino (near Moscow), Russia
November 7 at 7pm

Hamilton Film Festival
Factory Media Centre, 228 James Street N
Hamilton, Ontario
November 6 at 7pm

Zero Film Festival
SOHO House, 29-35 9th Ave
New York, NY
November 6 at 7:30pm

Pictoclick Film Festival
Delancey Street Screening Theater, 600 Embarcadero Street
San Francisco, CA
November 8

Burbank Marriott Convention Center, 2500 N. Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA
November 8 at 5:30pm

Big Apple film festival
Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick St
New York, NY
November 9 at noon

Mt. Hood Independent Film Festival
Columbia Center for the Arts, 215 Cascade Ave
Hood River, OR
November 7 at 10pm

Pineapple Underground Film Festival
Hong Kong
December 5 at 7pm

Cinewest Canary Islands
December 7-8

ReelOut Film Festival
Kingston, Ontario
January 30 - February 7

Queens World Film Festival
Museum of the Moving Image
Queens, NY
March 17-22

International Motion Festival
March 26-29

Worldfest Houston
AMC Studio 30 Dunvale
Houston, TX
April 10-19

About the film

Other films:

Lily in the Grinder was filmed in the summer of 2013 and had its online release in September 2014. If you like the film, take a look at:

Lily in the Grinder began its life with three events: at Anthology Film Archives in NYC, Dolby Studios in SF, and on the Raleigh Studios backlot in LA. The best way to experience the film is in a theater, with a director Q&A and screening.

The director and cast/crew members are available to host live or remote Q&As, and we can help you host a beautiful Lily event. To get in touch, email [email protected].

Request presskit.