Esotouric's The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's Southern California Nightmare tour
WHEN: Saturday January 22, 12pm-4pm
WHERE: Departing from Philippe The Original, 1001 Alameda, downtown LA
COST: $58/person (15% off for KCRW or KPCC members)
INFO: http://www.esotouric.com, 323-223-2767
TELEVISION TIE-IN: Kate Winslet stars as "Mildred Pierce" in Todd Haynes' HBO mini-series debuting in March 2011
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 aunique 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"(coming to HBO as a new Todd Haynes-directed mini-series starring Kate Winslet in Spring 2011) 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 LanaTurner. "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 Jan 8 - The Real Black Dahlia (weekend package available)
Sun Jan 9 - Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles (weekend package available)
Sat Jan 15 - Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's L.A.
Sat Jan 22 - The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's So. Cal. Nightmare
Sun Jan 30 - LAVA's Sunday Salon at Clifton's Cafeteria (free, info at www.lavatransforms.org)
Sat Jan 30 - The Science and Art of Forensic Investigations: Criminalistics from Test Tube to Testimony (info at www.lavatransforms.org)
Sat Feb 5 - Reyner Banham Loves LA: The New Chinatowns (weekend package available)
Sun Feb 6 - Reyner Banham Loves LA: South LA (weekend package available)
Sun Feb 13 - The Science and Art of Forensic Investigations: Criminalistics from Test Tube to Testimony (info at www.lavatransforms.org)
Sat Feb 19 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Route 66 (weekend package available)
Sat Feb 20 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Boyle Heights (debut, weekend package available)
Sat Feb 26 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The Lowdown on Downtown- The Secret History of Los Angeles
Sat March 5 - Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice crime bus tour
Sat March 12 - Eastside Babylon crime bus tour (weekend package available)
Sun March 13 - Blood & Dumplings crime bus tour (weekend package available)
Sat March 19 - Pasadena Confidential crime bus tour
For more info on Esotouric, visit http://www.esotouric.com