Jean Daniel Cadinot (February 10, 1944 – April 23, 2008) was a French director and producer of gay pornographic films.
Cadinot was born during WWII, in German-occupied Paris, in the Montmartre hill area of the Batignoles 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 17.1 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.2
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.3 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 since then, usually with specific settings or themes, such as an excursion of French Boy Scouts, life in a boarding school or a journey to Venice, greatly contributing to the erotic appeal of the works through the specific situations depicted. Often these themes were somewhat derived from Cadinot’s life experiences, especially from his youth.
By 1998 he had directed 54 films, some under the pseudonym Tony Dark.1
Cadinot’s early films are often basically regular movies with occasional hardcore gay sex scenes interspersed. Rather than just portraying a string of sexual encounters with minimal dialogue, they showcase Cadinot’s fascination with characterization, lighting, and his often slightly jocular approach to gay sexuality.
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”. Part of the popularity of his films is credited to the realistic emotions shown in them, compared to the robot-like performances in other films.
On April 23, 2008 Jean-Daniel Cadinot’s Official Site posted the following notice:
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 into 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.”
Jean Daniel Cadinot, photographer and film-maker, passed away on the 23rd of April aged 64 following a heart attack.4
Trademark elements of his films
* Often plot- and character-driven (though considerably less so in recent years)
* Actors are young (Twinks) and inexperienced, non-professional.
* Humoristic characters and situations, for example the cameo appearance of Cadinot’s Mother as a cleaner in Escalier de Service.
* Outdoor locations in the French countryside
* Occasionally, scenes of nonconsensual sex (i.e., rape).
* Several films had North African Arab themes, locations and players
* Cadinot directs his characters to often stay partially clothed during sex, and there is a fetishistic focus on swollen genitals admired in white underwear.
* Age Tendre et Sexes Droits (1983)
* Aime… Comme Minet (1982)
* Amour Jaloux (L’) (1986)
* C’est la Vie (2000)
* Chaleurs (1987)
* Charmants Cousins (1983)
* Classe de Neige (1985)
* Corps d’Elite (1993)
* Coup de Soleil (1996)
* Cours Privés (2002)
* Coursier (Le) (1990)
* Crash Toujours (1989)
* Crescendo (2003)
* Désir en Ballade (Le) (1989)
* Désirs Volés (1996)
* Deuxième Sous-sol (1987)
* Double en Jeu (2000)
* Escalier de Service (1987)
* Etat d’Urgence (1998)
* Expérience Inédite (L’) (1993)
* Gamins de Paris (1992)
* Garçon Près de la Piscine (Le) (1986)
* Garçons d’Etage (1995)
* Garçons d’Etage II (1996)
* Garçons de Plage (1982)
* Garçons de Rêves (1981)
* Hammam (2004)
* Harem (1984)
* Hommes de Chantier (1980)
* Hommes Préfèrent les Hommes (Les) (1981)
* Insatiable (L’) (1997)
* Jeu de Pistes (Le) (1984)
* Macadam (1998)
* Main au Feu (La) (1989)
* Maison Bleue (La) (1992)
* Maurice et les Garçons (1994)
* Minets de l’Info (Les) (1994)
* Minets Sauvages (Les) (1984)
* Mon Ami, Mes Amants (2002)
* Musée Hom (1994)
* Nomades (2005)
* Paradisio Inferno (1994)
* Parfums Erotiques (2007)
* Pension Complète (1988)
* Plaisirs d’Orient (2005)
* Pressbook (1996)
* Sacré Collège (1983)
* Safari City (1999)
* Sans Limite (2000)
* Séance Particulière (1988)
* Scouts (1981)
* Secrets de Famille (2004)
* Service Actif (1990)
* Service Actif II (1991)
* Sortie de Secours (1998)
* S.O.S. (1999)
* Sous le Signe de l’Etalon (1986)
* Squat (1999)
* Stop (1980)
* Stop Surprise (1984)
* Techno Boys (1997)
* Tequila (1993)
* Tendres Adolescents (1980)
* Top Models (1985)
* Tresors Secrets (2007)
* Voyage à Venise (Le) (1986)