RARA-AVIS: Raines Is Chandler Homage

From: Frederick Zackel ( fzackel@wcnet.org)
Date: 18 Feb 2007

(I have this sniggering desire to throw gasoline on the fire.)


Graham Yost, creator and executive producer of the upcoming NBC drama Raines, told SCI FI Wire that the series is heavily influenced by the work of classic noir novelist Raymond Chandler, particularly The Long Goodbye.

"My love of Los Angeles does come from the fact that I grew up in Toronto and visited L.A. occasionally, but really got to know it through Chandler," Yost said at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. "And, truly, doing Raines was my sort of [chance] to actually write something that had at least a flavor of Chandler and has a character who is self-aware about that. He loves Chandler, too, and that's part of his story."

In addition to Chandler's writings, Yost also referenced various film adaptations, especially Robert Altman's 1972 film based on The Long Goodbye.

"What Altman did with Long Goodbye was to take Chandler and put it in 1972," he said. "And it felt like a 1972 film, and yet Elliott Gould still was this classic hard-boiled detective. So it was still noir, but it was 1972. And we wanted to do that for 2006, 2007. And I hope we've done it. We've learned more and more about it as we went along."

Jeff Goldblum stars in the series as detective Michael Raines, a homicide investigator who begins seeing and hearing murder victims as he's working on their cases.

In a press conference, Goldblum said that he has always been a fan of Chandler's work and spoke with Yost about the noir inspiration as soon as he signed on to the project.

"Because of this, I watched The Long Goodbye again," he said. "When we first talked about it, [Graham] even said, 'You know, what we want sort of maybe in tone-we don't want to copy anything-but look at Long Goodbye again. I said, 'I've seen it many times.'"

Goldblum added that he found the character to be one of the most interesting he's every played.

"I had one of the best times I've ever had in my whole life," he said.
"That's true. This cast, everybody is so great. And meeting with Graham, he was so great, and Frank, I wanted to work with them. I loved the idea. I loved the script and I loved that character. And The Long Goodbye. ... We find out that he pretends not to care and is indifferent, but is wildly romantic and vulnerable and cares deeply and is idealistic, in fact. There was something about this character like that that I kind of fell in love with."

Raines premieres March 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. -Cindy White

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Fred Zackel Cocaine & Blue Eyes Point Blank Press

Lisa del Gioconda (The Mona Lisa) has no eyebrows. Napoleon kept her in his bedroom.

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