The Red Desert is definitely slow but it's not bleak in the way that I assumed Bullhead to be. I don't mind the more existential(?) bleakness that I associate with the likes of Antonioni but I really can't handle extreme violence anymore, at least in any kind of realistic way. I'll happily watch a John Woo movie or a series like Miami Vice or anything highly stylised like that, but when it starts to feel overtly 'real', I can't seem to handle it anymore. I watched Walter Hill's Last Man Standing the other night, which has to be about as violent as a Hollywood movie could be, but it's so stylised that it didn't bother me at all. I loved it in fact.
For years those more bleak/visceral movies were the very kind that I gravitated towards but they now just leave me a bit too depressed. Same with literature. I tried to reread Last Exit to Brooklyn recently (for years one of my very fave novels) but I couldn't seem to get past more than a few pages of it. I could handle Blood Meridian, though, just because it was so extreme and so alien from anything I could possibly experience or relate to that it didn't really bother me.