Wednesday, January 12, 2005

coffee press

Didn't see The Ipcress File overnight with Michael Caine so I missed the early appearance of the Plunger or Coffee Press... although perhaps we should not be impressed ?

... it is a truth insufficiently acknowledged that, in popular culture, we must trust a spy to uphold gastronomic standards Secrets and pies:

...Actually, there is something much more disturbing about Palmer, for all his supposed culinary accomplishments: he can't make decent coffee, even though he has the tools for the job. In the title sequence of The Ipcress File, Palmer gets out of bed in his powder-blue pyjamas, puts on his glasses and then sets about fixing coffee. He grinds the beans in what looks like a prototype for my Moulinex 205 (boys and their toys), puts the grounds into his cafetière and pours boiling water over them. So far, so stylish - with lovely low camera angles, fetishistic gadgetry and John Barry's cool jazz score. Then it all goes wrong for, immediately after Palmer pours the water into the pot, he depresses the plunger. How on earth is the coffee supposed to brew, Mr P?

Historian Simon Schama has claimed that Palmer lured him into cooking; let's hope, though, he didn't learn to make coffee from this scene

Comments: coffee press

I'm more than happy to forgive young Harry the cackhanded coffee making for the gloriously offhand elan with which he says from the back of that Landrover, 'Lose that door...'.
Posted by Dick at January 13, 2005 10:52 AM

Actually Dick, didn't he arrive at the warehouse in another car with the Landrover following?

And what people fail to realise about the opening scene is that they were special WOOC(P)issue coffee beans.
Posted by Nabakov at January 13, 2005 12:39 PM

You've sold me on the elan. Must hire the DVD.

To confess, I'm not much of a coffee head, but was interested in the reportage of a Plunger sighting at that date.
But is WOOC(P) - or the inverted version - (P)COOW
a bit of plunger onomatopoeia?
Posted by boynton at January 13, 2005 03:52 PM

John Barry, people. John Barry!

It's not a "cool jazz score". Hell, Jerry Goldsmith could probably churn out a "cool jazz score".

It's Spy Rock.
Posted by Tony.T at January 13, 2005 04:02 PM

Ever heard Spy rock at the Espy, T?

some e-spy here.

I see JB also does Lion Rock. (I used to singalong to that cool pop score as a child)
Posted by boynton at January 13, 2005 04:23 PM

Jeez Boynton, don't you know anything about the minutiae of 40 year old spy thrillers?

WOOC(P)was the British Government spook outfit that Harry Palmer worked for. I think it stood something like "War Office Oversight Committee (Provisional)".

And Tony, I always thought of it more as "pop noir".
Posted by Nabakov at January 13, 2005 04:36 PM

"the minutiae of 40 year old spy thrillers?"
na - just cafe noir.

Oh - I thought I spied an acronym, but was thinking more: We Outgrow Our Coffee (Plunger), or something...
Posted by boynton at January 13, 2005 05:01 PM

Shit, you're absolutely right, N. Doesn't he issue the order to the Landrover?
Posted by Dick at January 14, 2005 10:30 AM

Yep. He's standing there talking to some other bloke then turns round to the landrover driver; "Lose that door!"
Posted by Tony.T at January 14, 2005 03:12 PM

Just watched it last night (the old VCR still works its magic). Magic stuff. I was surprised to see a grinder and plunger in action. A wonderfully shot film.

Barry - jazz, or kickarse vibes to pop off an agent in a Slough car park to.
Posted by Flute at January 16, 2005 10:43 PM

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