‘Jean Daniel Cadinot has attracted an international following for his audacious films, which manage to be both unusually artistic and enormously arousing. He was born during World War II, in German-occupied Paris, in the Montmartre hill area of the Batignolles Quarter. His parents were tailors who custom fit clothes. Cadinot later remarked that while his parents had clothed men, he earned his reputation for undressing them.
‘As a teenager, Cadinot hoped to become a painter and, due to parental opposition, ran away from home at the age of 17. In the early 1960s, he studied at École des Arts et Métiers and at the National School of Photography. He then began his professional career at Valois Studios, where he directed mainstream films for French-speaking audiences.
‘He first pursued a career in photography, which took on a homosexual angle with his nude portrait of writer Yves Navarre and singer Patrick Juvet. His erotic photographs appeared in the first edition of Gai Pied. He began to sell nude photographs and finally moved to directing movies in 1978. By then, he had published 17 photo albums, with total sales of over 170,000 copies.
‘Setting up his own production company, French Art, Cadinot made dozens of 16 mm films. Characteristic of Cadinot’s films was an emphasis on plot, much more so than in typical porn films. His plots were often based originally on incidents from his own life, but he was known for adjusting the plot during filming to incorporate experiences of his actors. He insisted on realism in his films, especially in sex scenes, saying that the actors “do not portray things that are imposed on them by me, but things they like to do themselves”.
‘While Cadinot disliked the term “pornography,” because of its pejorative connotations, he had no apologies for the depictions of sexual action that animate his films. This action is often raw and even brutal, but sometimes tender and sweet.
‘Cadinot’s films are plot driven, usually featuring interesting and strong narratives. They also usually involve a journey, either literally, as in Sex Bazaar (1982) and Sex Oasis (1984), which feature young Frenchmen in North Africa; or figuratively, as in Tough and Tender (1989), which chronicles the search for love in a boys’ reformatory. In Sex Drive (1985), the journey is imaginary. There the protagonist is supposedly running away from home, but in the end it turns out to be a dream. Of course, all the journeys are picaresque; they, quite naturally, involve many adventures, especially of the sexual kind.
‘Another characteristic of Cadinot’s films is that they feature young men in their late teens or early twenties. They are not the pumped up, well-endowed, hot-waxed men who now dominate American pornography, however. Although they often interact with older and larger men, frequently of non-European background, the protagonists tend to be youthful and nonmuscular, and they tend to be more sexually versatile than actors in American pornography, who are often limited to top or bottom roles.
‘On 23 April 2008, Cadinot died of a heart attack. After Cadinot’s death, the company French Art was being headed by François Orenn, a classically trained pianist who started working for Cadinot as a score composer and who managed the company from 2002. Two unfinished films by Cadinot, Subversion and Le Culte d’Eros, have since been released by him. Orenn has also begun directing films of his own in the typical Cadinot style (Anges et Démons and L’Avarice) and with Cadinot’s technical crew.’ — collaged
My final bow
by Jean-Daniel Cadinot
Dear friends, critics and others,
If you’re reading these words I will have put down my camera, switched off the lights, drawn the curtains and taken my final bow. May all the efforts and work of a whole life, the quest for the moment of pure truth in the sublime communion of two beings under the spell of the undefinable desire for the other, inspire those who inherit my heart.
The human being is made such that it only remembers the good and the beautiful, therefore I leave you with a free mind and a head overflowing with a myriad of young men, sometimes strong and vigorous, sometimes fragile and sensitive. All of them gave me these unforgettable moments of their most tender intimacy, moments that only a few really know but which I made in to images to allow you to admire them over and over again.
Never were success or personal fortune my creed. You offered me gratitude, and I thank you for that because I wanted nothing else. Cadinot salutes you. Remember a kindly fellow, an extreme observer given to rages and contradiction but who listened to others and was full of love.
“An erect phallus is a symbol of life, a cross a symbol of death.”
Filou: Your new film “Nomades” has been released on DVD. Once again the action takes place in Tunisia. Where does your fascination with the Maghreb come from?
Cadinot : I cannot speak of fascination for the Maghreb, I am not obsessed with it. It just so happens that there is a great open-mindedness. I have always loved the human being as a whole, without a history of borders and races. I had the opportunity to visit this region by avoiding the tourist trails, to discover a culture so rich and so far from what people want us to believe. I’m not saying that all the Maghreb countries have been able to open up, but Tunisia knows how to be welcoming to me.
Filou: With “Harem” (1984), you established yourself as the first multiethnic gay porn director. Since the black man or Arab is the subject of a lucrative business in this environment. What do you think ?
Cadinot : I find that quite normal. There was a great void to fill. In the 60s, no black posed in fashion magazines, yet we can not deny that a market existed. Besides, I don’t like this word: “market” but let’s face it that a niche was to be taken. Let us not forget that 50 years ago, American segregation against blacks was still relevant. I saw horrible things in New York. Today all colors find their place in porn and it’s a fair return of things.
Filou: Do you feel close to this “scum” movement that is rampant in the gay community?
Cadinot : My work is different and I don’t feel close to current productions. I have always advocated brotherhood, equality. without being a megalomaniac. In some porn today, we only present aggressive and dominant black or Arab models against a backdrop of bustling suburbs. It’s too restrictive, and as far as I’m concerned I prefer to broaden points of view. And talk about sensuality!
Filou: How are your castings going in the Maghreb?
Cadinot : Mentalities have changed enormously. The arrival of the Internet or the DVD has helped to loosen people’s minds. I sometimes find the Maghreb more developed than Europe on certain points. Obviously at the time of “Harem”, my models fornicated without wanting to appear on the covers, without leaving traces of promotional photos.
Mass tourism has broken down many barriers. And I can tell you that today my actors are naturally disconcerting in front of the camera and far exceed European actors. And I don’t let go of my beasts like that on a platter. There is a lot of learning about the camera, but generally they are very good at getting by in front of the lens. For “Hammam” there are two brothers who took part in the filming. One had advised the other to come and shoot. This is rather unusual!
Filou: But on a daily basis, how do they experience these participations in porn?
Cadinot : You know our media talk a lot about fundamentalists but the majority of the population aspires to freedom, to a little more tranquility. And also to earn money!
I don’t think these men are totally gay. In reality many are bi with a very developed gay obedience. Money acts as a pretext for purification: it relieves the guilt of performing in porn. You might think that this excuse is unique to the Muslim religion, but believe me: even straight guys play this card: if I get paid, I am not guilty of anything!
17 of Jean-Daniel Cadinot’s 72 films
‘There was much going for this relatively short film, with several themes that reappear in later Cadinot works. First the lead character’s costume. He hitch-hikes at a bus stop in the shortest of red-colored shorts designed to expose his very promising package to anyone interested.
‘Throughout the film, pictures of French road signs usually with a sexual association, are highlighted, His very short shorts do the trick and he gets a ride to a country road, in a very accessible place where he can fondle himself easily seen from the road. First a bicyclist notices him, but does not stop, but a motor bike driver does. The driver himself is clad in the kind of very brief package-exposing tattered shorts that reminds one of the uniforms worn by the scouts in Cadinot’s “Scouts”.
‘The stud driving the motor bike drives him up the road (slowly passing the bicyclist to allow the hitch-hiker to feel up the bicyclist’s ass. But it is the motor bike driver and the hitchhiker who explore an old open wreck of a van, where the driver submits to the hitchhiker’s every desire.’ — marius
Hommes de Chantier (1980)
‘Young man servicing his boss on construction site.’ — Bolatino
‘Things are getting hectic with our tireless boycotts! They run in every directions, confronting each other and battling it out. While most of them are busy rolling around in the muck, two take advantage of the confusion to separate from the group for a moment of fun. They suck each other off and fuck so hard, it’ll take a few minutes to see an explosion of cum coming out of their hard dicks!’ — cadinot.fr
Garçons de Rêves (1981)
‘In a hospital ward, a male nurse and a black patient administer anal and oral probes to another sedated patient.’ — thisvid
Garçons De Plage (1982)
‘Couples on a beach have their separate kinky fun, but ultimately come together for a scorching hot freewheeling orgy.’ — thisvid
Aime… Comme Minet (1982)
‘An 18-year-old boy auditions for Cadinot and recalls his early sexual experiences in front of the camera.’ — MUBI
Sacre College (1983)
‘Classic French vintage film revolving around the sexual goings-on at a boys religious boarding school.’ — thisvid
Charmants Cousins (1983)
‘An early Cadinot. Two French twins share the stories of their sexual encounters before getting down to it themselves.’ — thisvid
Age Tendre Et Sexes Droits (1983)
‘Attend the live rehearsal of a peep show in the making ! Nine 20 year old guys, selected for their beauty and youth, audition in front of a choreographer sensitive to their provocative attitudes. The camber of their bodies and their perfect butts put fire on the stage, dressing rooms and technical booth. A gigantic erotic ride ends this fevered repetition.’ — cadinot.fr
Les Minets Sauvages (1984)
‘”Les Minets Sauvages” is Jean-Michel Cadinot’s darkest, and most sexually violent film of his impressive career. The film deals with the power struggle among youths at a rough juvenile prison outside of Paris. The film opens with actor Didier Hamel entering the prison after being arrested for prostitution. Pale, thin and fragile, he soon captures the attention of the aggressive bully, Vincent, played by Cadinot regular, Luigi di Como. Vincent makes it clear to the others that the new boy will be their personal plaything, leading to a series of realistic and sometimes disturbing rape scenes. The abuse continues until a new inmate is introduced into the environment. Jean-Louis Vaissieres is dominant like Vincent, but not in the same immature way as the bully. Jean-Louis takes a genuine liking to Didier’s character, and begins to protect him, thus causing the other boys to question the strength of their leader.
‘As usual, Jean-Michel Cadinot pays attention to the details that almost all adult film directors completely overlook. Character development of the main players allows for caring about what happens them, and provides an understanding of their actions, and fears. In fact, the directors approach makes it quite difficult to become sexually aroused while watching, as so many of the images on screen are as disturbing, and sad, as they are erotic. This is almost unheard of in adult film, (I can’t call this porn, as this is on another level completely.) The boys are a bit tortured looking as well, with their pale skin and haunted, zombie-like stares in some scenes, in particular when Didier Hamel willingly gets into the bed of his new savior Jean, and the two engage in the only consensual and non-violent ‘love scene’ in the film. The others watch with looks of fascination, as though they have never seen non-forced sexual intercourse before. It is clear from this scene that these guys have lived in a darker and more unforgiving reality. And the school itself functions as a character, this imposing and very cold Gothic structure, always looming in the background like a specter, observing with a cold eye, all that happens within its wall. And the fact that none of the adult wardens are shown having sexual involvement with the young prisoners adds further legitimacy to this one-of-a-kind film.’ — Falconeer
‘A 1984 Cadinot movie from the pre-condom era. A French teenager discovers the joys of the hammam with a young Moroccan who will end up becoming his lover. It’s love at first sight. But the young Moroccan, at the exit of the establishment, disappears in the alleys of the kasbah. Our young hero sets off in pursuit, he gets lost in the souks where he will discover, in the back rooms of the shops, oriental hospitality.’ — cadinot.fr
Classe de Neige (1985)
‘A group of young students discover for the joys of winter sports for the first time.A group of young students discover for the joys of winter sports for the first time. Accompanied by an instructor and supervisor, they are introduced to the joys of the ski lift between their legs and long hard descents. It’s cold by day but the temperature rises at night as the slalom goes from room to room. It’s not just the slopes that are hard! The teenagers compare their young ice picks before attempting the ascent behind one another. Just follow the leader! The changing rooms overheat! Only the intellectual gets in the way because he doesn’t appreciate his peers nocturnal rampages! But he won’t be left untouched by mischevious hands. Even the supervisors aren’t spared from the sexual appetites of these youths! Attention! Corruption of an adult!’ — cadinot.fr
Sous le signe de l’Etalon (1986)
‘The stallion acts in parallel with the life of its author. The student, the electrician, his boyfriend and his editor make life difficult for him. He takes revenge in his novel by plunging them into perilous situations facing this force of nature that is the majestic stallion. Reality and fiction are not the only ones to cross, overlap, interpenetrate in this film which is both whimsical and muscular.’ — cadinot.fr
Le Garçon près de la Piscine (1986)
‘What’s a guy to do? He’s handsome, he’s horny, he’s hung … and he’s lonely. None of the sexy young guys in this sunny Meditteranean vacation spot seem to be available, so it looks like a summer of mail-order sex for Hank. Watch what happens when the hunky young postman delivers the promise of magic in a magazine of personal ads.. A stream of dazzling young men with smooth bodies, big toys, and lusty ideas sweeps into Hank’s life and his summer of loneliness turns into a season of rapture.’ — filesmonster.vip
L’amour Jaloux (1986)
‘Who has never fantasized about porn magazines where superb boys show off their charms in the most shameless positions? What if it was the chosen one of your heart who offered himself to the lust of the most lustful looks? Would you rather be proud or jealous? Hank Reisner, the hero of “Boy by the Pool”, seems to have found happiness. He lives in Paris with Pascal, a super cute young guy. The two lovers spin the perfect love until the day Pascal discovers that Hank posed naked for a gay guide. After a violent altercation, it is the rupture. Jealousy leads Pascal on a quest for sex plans to smear his love and forget. He becomes the object of pleasure of strangers and realizes the sensation of being desired by a photographic lens and of being possessed by mysterious demons …’ — Telerama
Carnival In Venice (1986)
‘Cadinot’s jewel box of a film tells the tale of a journey to the capital of the Italian Renaissance kept in all its glory and magnificence for the delight of lovers everywhere. Jean-Daniel Cadiont takes us to Venice. A beautiful trip to the courts and castles of this ancient, and yet somehow modern, erotic paradise. Join our travelers as they visit the famous, or infamous, Carnivale La Comedia del Arte, a celebration rooted in the Italian love of sex, debauchery, and whimsical costumes. See the rich man become poor, the old become young, and the young, especially the young Julian, precede to practice and perfect the most hedonistic cum-soaked all-male eroticism imaginable. Watch as handsome Romeo learns of Julian’s “deep and ripening” feelings for Romeo’s new nephew, a nephew due to be married to a woman in only a few days. See the aristocratic Romeo’s decadent and devious nature slowly and slyly bring the two men together for his own pleasure.’ — cduniverse
2eme Sous-Sol (1987)
‘Two scum-style individuals, dressed in super-short tight-fitting shorts with a bulky package brushing against the indecent assault and moving in roller-skates are suspected of snatching a briefcase containing dildos, gadgets and porn magazines hard. The witness, a young blond tourist with the face of an angel and XXL sex. The thugs would have been reported in the 2nd basement of a parking lot, using latex to make each other enjoy and experimenting with the products of their larceny on the witness who declares to have seen and suffered various outrages but who seems to have taken a liking to it. For the rest of the investigation, see “2nd Basement”.’ — cadinot.fr
p.s. Hey. ** TomK, Hi, Tom! Thank you, thank you, maestro! That’s so good to hear. And that the layering worked, as, yeah, obviously, I was trying/hoping. Anyway, really, thank you, man. I just saw an email from you in my box. I’ll go get it. You good? What’s up with your book? ** Dominik, Hi!!!! Interesting. About ‘A Little Life’. I can’t remember what people said about it, but, whatever it was, it made me really not want to read it. But of course the intensity of your reaction makes me interested. I don’t know what to do now. Luckily there are so many books coming out right that I want badly to read, so that’ll settle it. Ha ha, that falling out of bed old man looked like he was choreographed by Gisele Vienne. Might have to send the video to her. Love saying “hi” to Hate, and Hate being so disarmed by the sweetness of that “hi” that he begins to question his raison d’être to the point where he temporarily withdraws all of his outreach from the bodies of the fascists and phobes and racists and decides to lie on a beach on La Palma Island and get tan and question his existence for a while until one day when he’s napping in the sun the erupting volcano there lets loose suddenly with a ton of lava that incinerates him, G. ** Ian, Hey, Ian! Things are good here. And there, and you? Yeah, those vids made me remember the anti-drug and drunk driving, etc. movies they used to make us watch in junior high school. I don’t know ‘The Ketchup Factory’. Is it actually set in a ketchup factory? That sounds intriguing, if so. Good to see you, pal. ** Misanthrope, Interesting. Sort of like fiction books versus nonfiction books. Wow, thank you, G. George’s condition was so hard to understand, especially back then when doctors couldn’t fine tune what was wrong with him and the meds were much cruder, that I felt I had to write about my not understanding rather than try to diagnose and resolve him. I suppose that’s true about the non-finished quality, although I don’t think a novel is a definable thing, so I don’t think there’s a finish line. Anyway, thank you, man, really. I’m very happy to read that. Condolences about Gus. I’m so sorry. He might’ve been tiny but not in importance. ** David, I thought the wrapped Arc would be lame, but looks kind of trippy/haunting in photos, and I guess I’ll find out. Strange about the difficulty getting here yesterday, but I swear this blog is technically cursed. Quite a day you had there. I feel like such a wuss. Bright Tuesday! ** _Black_Acrylic, Yes, yes, be very careful. These are nefarious times, or I mean the air we breathe is nefarious. ** Sypha, That’s what I read or he told me, I can’t remember which. I mean his little monologues on his podcast became a book, so it makes sense. Lynch’s ‘Dune’ isn’t great, in my opinion, but it’s fun and wacky and worth watching unlike that extremely self-serious, humorless seeming new version. ** Bill, I know, ha ha, that one. Your report on the Residents show makes sense. I know at least one of the originals died. They played at the Castro, wow. ** David Ehrenstein, Well, actually it was a Matt Dillon chewed undershirt, which, given the time frame, is, you know, better. ** Billy, Howdy, Billy! That’s wild! Wild because I had a meeting with these game designers that I’m doing a project with yesterday, and we were talking about that very game as a reference point. How strange. I guess there’s some kind of weird effect in that game that they want to try to employ in our project. Do you know the game ‘Eternal Darkness’? With the amazing ‘insane’ effects and everything? That extremely trippy game is the one they/we are really hoping to play off of. Nice SJG quote. Now I’m tripping. Thanks for digging in here. Good to see you! ** T, Hi, T. I felt the same as you and wondered if others would, and at least you did, so that question is satisfactorily answered. Cool. My weekend did the trick I hoped it would, thanks. I think you’ll be glad you scored the Baumer book. If there were ethereal forces capable of granting your wish for my day I would be a happy man, thank you. I hope yours does somersault after somersault without making you feel the slightest bit dizzy. ** Today the blog goes into the early work of porn director Jean-Daniel Cadinot, certainly one of most artful and theory-inspired porn directors ever. Well, in his early films at least, and that’s all I’m paying attention to today. Don’t get too hard. Or, you know, do. See you tomorrow.