Recently my son’s work hosted one of those management gurus. His theme was “focus”.

To make a point he divided the assembly into small groups before watching a short film. My son’s group had to count the number of times members of the “yellow” basketball team made a bounce pass. After the film he asked the various small groups to tell him the answer to the task he had set them. That was fine. But then he asked who had seen the gorilla!
Gorilla? Nobody had seen any gorilla!
So then he replayed the film and there he was – some guy in a gorilla suit walking in the background and then right past the front of the camera!

The other day I was listening in the car to a film historian talking about film in the Nazi era. He was asked the question, did he agree with others that all of Marlene Dietrich’s work was pornographic?

Yes he did, he said, in the sense that all Nazi films were about nationalistic arousal…the point about pornography is that it achieves its purposes by focussing only on images that will create arousal. A scene of a person cleaning a table, for example, would introduce other human themes which would defeat the pornographic purpose.

I wonder then, whether all sustained, highly focussed religious endeavour might also be considered pornographic in that sense. And that sadly, its narrow purvue inevitably leads to ‘not seeing the gorilla’!

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