it should come as no surprise to you that melanie martinez is our hero!! breaking into the music industry through an alternate portal to a world of her own devilish delight, her debut album, cry baby, literally paved the way our middle school minds interrupted storytelling. not only was it just a solid album unlike all the same boring 'trying-to-be-folky' pop that was being force-fed to us at the time (sorry one direction's made in the a.m), but it curated a safe place that our creativity needed to survive that awkward age when you're suppose to stop being yourself and be everyone else. so, thanks to melanie's lyrical comfort and accepting visual art it allowed our middle school selves to be ok with being different and, more importantly, ourselves. that said, we were then able to encrypt her unique style of telling darker stories hidden behind sweethearted-childlike-nostalgic appearances. and we might've went through a subjectively or objectively, depending who you ask, creepy barbie phase, but that's besides the point - let's just say that we created many home-made melanie martinez music videos with our barbie dolls during that time. however, we're not in middle school anymore, which takes us from cry baby and brings us to K-12, the whole point of this thing-a-ling.
(now, if you don't know, k-12 is the name of melanie's second record, but it is also the name of melanie's first film that she wrote, directed, and starred in (*cough* *cough* *slay on boss b!tch*) which is the k-12 we will be talking about today)
bending between visual album and short film, this sadly only 90 minute masterpiece unlocks the heart of melanie's songs off her album and shines light to the deeper messages behind each of them!! and though masked by a (ding, ding, ding) k-12 school setting, the genius is not missed one bit. in fact, the disconnected outward appearance of the innocent (enough) looking 'playground fights', 'cafeteria-cliques', and 'teacher's favorites' is what makes the demons inside stand out against the saintly pastel walls of the school. in addition, by choosing the story to take place in a fondly universal setting like grade school, this makes melanie's metaphor in reach for a vast audience when she parallels how the bullies and peer pressure within the classrooms aren't that different from the peer pressure that artists are bullied into to get into the music industry.
her message is sick and the way she conveys it is ill (in a cool way). as filmmakers we can spend this time pointing out how gorgeous each and every set design is (like obviously, obviously it's the real star in the movie, especially with it's sister, pastel color palette, starring along side it) or even how envious we are of the shot comp (sharp, moody, and aware of the character's emotions, it's the frosting on top of this funfetti cake of a film)....but, as storytellers, we love melanie's mind and wanted to soak up every bit of this page, praising the way she enfolded the drama and twisted the heartbreak in this film. however, more importantly, we wanted to take this time and love on her for her uniqueness. whether you're a fan of hers or a crazy person for not being, she 100% makes everything special and will always have a place in our hearts.
needless to say, we can't wait for her next film, college (LOL jk).