My son, who likes some of the older movies, went out and bought a copy of "A Clockwork Orange" the other day. For my money, it's a classic, but it's also a classic I wouldn't watch again gladly. It's too close to the bone and these days I prefer my cinematic truths more candy-coated.
As I noticed my reaction -- 'classic but to hard to take as my time passes' -- I thought of other movies I considered truly great and yet too hard to stomach these days: "Brazil" and, to a lesser extent, "Apocalypse Now." Once I watched them with the delight that can arise with a studied distance. Nowadays, it's a little like Dostoevsky vs. Tolstoy -- each, as I once thought of it, standing equidistant from the midpoint between pessimism and optimism. Same scenery, different glasses... quick, gimme the Tolstoy glasses!
Yes, there are hard truths that are worth telling, but I'm turning into too much of a wuss to take my whiskey straight. Being a wuss doesn't bother me so much any more ... what the hell, I hate anchovies too.