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Katrin (Leena Hiltonen) - a young erotic and primitive teenager - spends her summertime at a little island in the Stockholm archipelago. She spends most of her time sitting up in a tree "peeping" at the islands inmates as they're having sex. Sometimes she climbs down her tree to participate in some of the really sleazy love acts. Written by
Stefan Nylén <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The no-nothing solitary IMDb review for this overlooked classic impelled me to write a rebuttal, even though I don't speak Swedish. Available on DVD from Max's, LOVE'S ISLAND is Joe Sarno's companion film to his acknowledged classic "Fäbodjäntan".
What Joe did is analogous to Pasolini's innovative and equally misunderstood casting (and directorial) approach to his final erotic films beginning with DECAMERON. Pier Paolo took the onus off his career turn into erotica by casting mainly real people rather than actors, and having them "act" awkwardly, a carefully orchestrated form of fake-naturalism. An even further afield analogy would be John Cassavetes' famed seeming-improvisation, carefully developed over the course of rehearsals and run-throughs to appear spontaneous.
Sarno eschews here the star system that dominates his porno films and videos, opting for people who don't resemble actors. Exception, of course, is the star-making turn by Leena, a slim, blonde beauty who is revered to this day among Swedish fans for the pair of Sarno performances. (Her discovery is analogous to a decade earlier Leena (Skoog) a buxom blonde beauty who, alas, was wasted in stupid British films and was best preserved in endless magazine layouts and short loops).
Leena stars as Katrin, a literal force of nature, who seemingly lives up in the trees on this remote little island. Though the film is not a fantasy, not even as much as "Fäbodjäntan" and its magical horn, she seems to be a wood sprite or other legendary creature.
As with so many Sarno efforts, incest plays a central role. The son and his girl are visiting the island, staying with Mama and his sister Britt. What ensues is mix and match sex scenes amongst all of them and Katrin, plus a couple other guys (uncredited) portraying a young stud and a neighboring farmer.
As he did skilfully in KARLA, Sarno telegraphs subtly the ending of the film in the very first shot, a flash-forward to the final sequence of leave-taking. Mama goes off with the neighbor man, and brother Erik leaves after his idyll with his girl friend, leaving Britt and Katrin to live in the house.
Katrin spends much of her time masturbating and peeping in through a broken board to watch folks humping indoors. A telling early scene shows where Sarno is coming from, as she greets Eric & girl friend by squatting in front of them and treating the landscape to a Golden Shower. In context, it is far from shocking in an Annie Sprinkle porn sense, but merely showing how natural body functions, most notably having sex, are.
The awkward non-performances by the cast and the casting of buxom but ugly women (and generally unappealing men, too) surrounding sumptuous Leena is clearly a turn-off to some, but exactly what Sarno was shooting for. Sure, having a knockout like Leena is something of a contradiction, yet her freshness (even 35 years later) and unselfconsciousness win the day.
Cinematography develops the beauty of nature without overdoing it, credited to "Eric Gustafsson", apparently a pseudonym for Torbjörn Lindqvist, who shot other films for Sarno. Musical score is disarming recorder, flute and accordion themes establishing a folksy mood.
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