Depression-era Southern California: Amongst the burgeoning urban sprawl built atop bulldozed orange groves and the bitter realization that you can’t eat the sunshine, Maryland-born James M. Cain found his writer's voice. The unforgettable regional stories he spun between 1934-44, in novels ”The Postman Always Rings Twice,” “Mildred Pierce” and “Double Indemnity” and their subsequent film adaptations, would help launch a unique American genre: Film Noir.
How did this East Coast sophisticate go from managing editor of “The New Yorker” to populist novelist accused of writing dirty books? What strange characters did he find in Los Angeles, and how did he make them his own? And what is the link between the heightened emotions of opera and Cain's Southern California Noir?
Join Esotouric, L.A.'s most eclectic sightseeing tour company, for a webinar that tells James M. Cain's story through virtual visits to time capsule locations, where you'll meet the Southern California characters that shaped Cain's work and embodied his obsessions.
The webinar explores Cain’s world, from Hollywood to Glendale and along old Route 66, from Forest Lawn Memorial Park (site of a tragic scene from "Mildred Pierce") to the Glendale Train Station (“Double Indemnity”), from seedy roadside attractions to hard-boiled Skid Row taverns and hotels. And you'll learn about the artisans who adapted Cain’s fictions into Film Noir, including Raymond Chandler, Billy Wilder, Joan Crawford and Lana Turner.
This webinar is an illustrated lecture packed with rare photos that will bring Cain's literary Southern California and its Film Noir interpretations to life. And you'll find the look of an Esotouric webinar is a little different than your standard dry Zoom session, with lively interactive graphics courtesy of the mmhmm app.
After the presentation, Kim and Richard will answer your questions, so get ready to be a part of the show.
Can't join in when the webinar is happening? You'll have access to the full replay for one week. Please note: the 90 minute running time is just an estimate, and we often run long because the stories take on a life of their own. You can always come back and watch the last part of the webinar recording later.
So tune in and discover the incredible history of Los Angeles, with the couple whose passion for the city is infectious.
FYI: Immediately upon registering, you will receive a separate, automated email containing the link to join the webinar. The webinar is reliable on all devices, Mac, PC, iOS and Android.
About Esotouric: As undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz, Kim Cooper and Richard Schave inexplicably hated one other on sight. (Perhaps less inexplicably, their academic advisor believed they were soul mates). A chance meeting 18 years later proved much more agreeable. Richard wooed Kim with high-level library database access, with which she launched the 1947project true crime blog, highlighting a crime a day from the year of The Black Dahlia and Bugsy Siegel slayings. The popular blog’s readers demanded a tour, and then another. The tour was magical, a hothouse inspiring new ways for the by-then-newlyweds to tell the story of Los Angeles. Esotouric was born in 2007 with a calendar packed with true crime, literary, architecture and rock and roll tours. Ever since, it has provided a platform for promoting historic preservation issues (like the Save the 76 Ball campaign and the landmarking of Charles Bukowski’s bungalow), building a community of urban explorers (including dozens of free talks and tours under the umbrella of LAVA) and digging ever deeper into the secret heart of the city they love.
Rights and permissions: By attending an Esotouric webinar, you acknowledge that the entirety of the presentation is copyrighted, and no portion of the video or text may be reproduced in any fashion.
Kim Cooper (“one of L.A.’s brightest torchbearers” – Electric Literature) is the creator of 1947project, the crime-a-day time travel blog that spawned Esotouric’s popular crime bus tours, including Pasadena Confidential, the Real Black Dahlia and Weird West Adams. She is the author of The Kept Girl, the acclaimed historical mystery starring the young Raymond Chandler and the real-life Philip Marlowe, and of The Raymond Chandler Map of Los Angeles. Her collaborative L.A. history blogs include On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land. With husband Richard Schave, Kim curates the Salons of LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. When the third generation Angeleno isn’t combing old newspapers for forgotten scandals, she is a passionate advocate for historic preservation of signage, vernacular architecture and writer’s homes. Kim was for many years the editrix of Scram, a journal of unpopular culture. Her books include Fall in Love For Life, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, Lost in the Grooves and an oral history of Neutral Milk Hotel.
After his undergraduate studies in art history at UC Santa Cruz, Richard Schave set out to explore the American interior as an itinerant brick mason. His return to his native Los Angeles coincided with a renewed acquaintance with Kim Cooper, a once-detested academic colleague who would become his bride. Together, fusing scholarly research with new digital tools, they launched the 1947project time travel blog, along with In SRO Land, and On Bunker Hill, as well as the Esotouric tour company. With the success of Kim’s True Crime tours, Richard developed a series of Literary and California Culture excursions. Richard is a dedicated preservationist, and the host of the LAVA Sunday Salon and the LAVA Literary Salon series, named Best L.A. Literary Salon by Los Angeles Magazine. He also curates an ongoing series of forensic science programs at Cal State Los Angeles. Richard is also a reader at the Huntington Library.