When the turning becomes a "turning away," it is a renunciation of active viewing in the face of an intolerable situation. When one turns away, "[i]t is a matter of something too powerful, or too unjust, but sometimes also too beautiful, and which henceforth outstrips our sensory-motor capacities" (Cinema Two 18):
We have schemata for turning away when it is too unpleasant, for prompting resignation when it is terrible and for assimilating when it is too beautiful. It should be pointed out here that even metaphors are sensory-motor evasions, and furnish us with something to say when we no longer know what to do: they are specific schemata of an affective nature. Now this is what a cliche is. (Cinema Two 20)
Could we also say that, if "turning away" signals a gravitation towards more habitual patterns of thought (phantasms of mind, psychic repetitions, fetishistic disavowal in place of what is avoided), and if it does not produce a "turning towards" anything (except maybe towards the "nothing" of inward-looking), then turning away is the motion of language. It is the gravity of all situation--intolerable or not (but what situation would not be intolerable if fully perceived?) In this way, language moves in its own orbit with respect to the Real, which one can never perceive. It is perhaps for this reason that Monica Vitti's head movements are so sudden and dramatic, as if to actually see (and be seen) is a struggle with a fatal kind of gravity. Or maybe it's like trying to see one's face fully in the infinite regress of mirrors communicating with each other, or witnessing the light inside the refrigerator going off. To see beyond our own hang-ups would be to enter into system of relations that does not belong to us. Yet no matter how much one turns, one always misses . . . what? And whatever it is, could this be the human equivalent of a dog chasing its tail?