WHAT: Esotouric’s The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain’s Southern California
WHEN: Saturday October 9, 12pm-4pm
WHERE: Departing from Philippe The Original, 1001 Alameda, downtown LA
COST: $58/person (15% off for KCRW or KPCC members)
INFO: https://esotouric.com, 323-223-2767
LOS ANGELES- Southern California, 1931: Musing over fresh urban sprawl atop bulldozed orange groves and the bitter realization that you can’t eat the sunshine, newly arrived writer James M. Cain found a kernel of truth and his voice. That voice would become the dominant note in the development of a unique American genre, Film Noir, which spawned the abiding Los Angeles myth of the solitary, relentless detective.
THE BIRTH OF NOIR is a four-hour luxury bus tour celebrating the life, work, myths and passions of hard-boiled American novelist James M. Cain through his best known books, “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” “Mildred Pierce” and “Double Indemnity,” and how their screen adaptations shaped Film Noir.
How did East Coat sophisticate Cain go from editor of “The New Yorker” to populist novelist accused of writing dirty books? The tour explores the writer’s life and work with a focus on his time in Southern California, where his observations on Malibu, Hollywood, Pasadena and the low rent burbs of Glendale are as provocative today as they were seventy years ago.
The tour also covers the gifted people who transformed Cain’s tales into movies, among them Billy Wilder, Raymond Chandler, Joan Crawford and Lana Turner. “The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain’s Southern California Nightmare” is a complex portrait of a fascinating character who was seduced and transformed by his time in the Southland, a hard working movie industry professional who sank into drink and despair, ultimately a uniquely Californian artist.
Hosted by Esotouric’s Richard Schave, the tour departs from beloved dining landmark Philippe the Original, where passengers can enjoy delicious pie in honor of legendary baking mama Mildred Pierce. The tour itself draws on Cain’s essays, short stories, novels, films and the memories of his friends and colleagues to paint a portrait of LA in the 1930s and 1940s through the eyes of the writer. The tour spans Hollywood to Glendale and along old Route 66, and includes illuminating visits to the actual “Mildred Pierce” house, the Glendale Train Station where the “Double Indemnity” murder plot played out, and the punch line to a Billy Wilder joke so subtle, it’s taken six decades for anyone to get. Get on the bus to share in the laughter and the pathos of Cain’s Southern California.
Upcoming Esotouric bus tour and special event schedule
Sat Sept 11 – Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice crime bus tour
Sat Sept 18 – Pasadena Confidential crime bus tour
Sat Sept 25 – The Real Black Dahlia crime bus tour
Sat Oct 9 – The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain’s So. Cal Nightmare
Sat Oct 16 – John Buntin’s L.A. Noir
Sun Oct 24 – CSULA crime lab tour (info at lavatransforms.org)
Sat Oct 30 – Maja’s Mysteries: Rapture & Release
Sat Nov 6 – Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles
Sun Nov 7 – CSULA crime lab tour (info at lavatransforms.org)
Sat Nov 13 – Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski’s L.A.
Sat Dec 4 – Pasadena Confidential with Crimebo the Clown
Sat Dec 11 – Eastside Babylon crime bus tour
Esotouric’s Richard Schave, Kim Cooper and Joan Renner are proud members of LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. http://www.lavatransforms.org
For more info on Esotouric, visit https://esotouric.com
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