I watched Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salò, or The 120 Days of Sodom for the first time last night. I'm moderately sure that a person of my particular tastes likely should have gotten around to this prior.
It seems that, as it goes, there are any number of people, such as Alexis Nayle, who will not be taking kindly to my opinion. I admired it quite a bit. In fact, considering its notoriety, I found its direct content less shocking even than I expected... not that I can possibly imagine a circumstance that one wouldn't be best prepared for some genuine horrors.
The fact is, the passive, distant and even impersonal directorial view leaves the impact of the events themselves not as horrifying as they might be in other hands. This is not improper in any manner. It's not the events themselves that are intended to shock, but the ideas about the corruption of power and what people are willing to do to maintain their lives and their station. If one takes it literally, it would indeed be little more than a collection of horrors, I acknowledge.
I haven't solved it, but it's something I'll be considering for some time into the future.