Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Esotouric to offer James M. Cain bus tour

L.A. bus tour traces film noir's path from James M. Cain's fiction to the

WHAT: Esotouric's The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's Southern California
Nightmare tour
WHEN: Saturday, October 13, 12pm-4pm
WHERE: Departing from The Daily Dose, 1820 Industrial St., Los Angeles, CA
COST: $58/person, includes coffee and cookies
TOUR INFO:, 213-373-1947

ALSO IN MID-OCTOBER: Tour host Richard Schave invites you to attend a series
of events celebrating the forgotten proto-hardboiled novelist and
screenwriter Jim Tully, including the LAVA Salon at Musso & Frank, the
Bonnie Cashin Lecture at UCLA Library Special Collections, a film screening
at The American Cinematheque and a free walking tour. All Tullyfest details
are at
 The literary world is abuzz this week with the publication of
noir master James M. Cain's rediscovered "lost" and last novel, "The
Cocktail Waitress" (Hard Case Crime). Why not keep that noirish buzz humming
into October with a guided tour of the dark side of American letters as
Esotouric offers its occasional BIRTH OF NOIR excursion to iconic scenes
from the films "Double Indemnity," "The Postman Always Rings Twice" and
"Mildred Pierce," and the historic spaces that inspired Cain's novels and

ABOUT THE TOUR: 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"
(recently remade as a Todd Haynes-directed mini-series starring Kate Winslet
on HBO) and "Double Indemnity," and how their screen adaptations shaped Film

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 downtown L.A.'s
historic produce district, in honor of the doomed Frank Chambers, who found
love, death and day labor work toting fruit boxes in "The Postman Always
Rings Twice."

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 and apartment
house 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 (free events starred)
Sat September 29 - The Real Black Dahlia
Sat October 6 - Pasadena Confidential (weekend pass available)
Sun October 7 - Eastside Babylon (weekend pass available)
Sat October 13 - The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's Southern California
*Sun October 14 ­ Jim Tully's Hollywood walking tour (info at
Mon October 15- The LAVA Salon at Musso & Frank: Jim Tully: A Hobo in
Hollywood (info at
*Thurs October 25 - Union Rescue Mission Walking Tour (info at
*Thurs October 25 - Of Scrap & Steel screening (info
Sat October 27 - Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
Sun October 28 - Crime lab seminar: The Wisdom of Teeth (info at
Sat November 3 - Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles
Sun November 4 ­ Blood & Dumplings crime bus tour
*Wed November 14 - George Mann's Los Los Angeles (info at
Sat December 1 - Pasadena Confidential crime bus tour (weekend pass
Sun December 2 - Eastside Babylon crime bus tour (weekend pass available)
Sat December 8 - Weird West Adams crime bus tour
Sat December 15 ­ Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice crime bus tour
Sat January 5 - The Real Black Dahlia
Sat January 12 - Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
Sat January 19 - Charles Bukowski's LA
Sat January 26 - The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's Southern California

For more info on Esotouric, visit

Esotouric's Richard Schave, Kim Cooper and Joan Renner are proud members of
LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association.

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