Project Greenlight Finalist | "The closest thing I've experienced to dreaming." « Click to watch film

Lily in the Grinder

a short film about existence
directed by Michael Morgenstern

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 B¨¦la Bart¨®k,
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?

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

Newington Armory, Building 22
Sydney, Australia
September 20 & 21

Oakland Underground Film Festival
Humanist Hall
Oakland, CA
September 27

Beinten film festival
Moscow, Russia
November 1-9

Big Apple film festival
Tribeca Cinemas
New York, NY
November 5-9

Pictoclick Film Festival
San Francisco, CA
November 8

Mt. Hood Independent Film Festival
Columbia Center for the Arts
Hood River, OR
November 8-10


(with purchase)

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

Michael¡¯s essay, Lapsing and Falling and Settling, available free.

More coming soon

Including interviews and scientific articles!

About the film

Request presskit.

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.

A director's statement is available with purchase of the film.

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].