The Human Face
|The Human Face|
|Directed by||James Erskine
|Produced by||Nick Rossiter|
|Written by||John Cleese|
Kevyn Major Howard
|Running time||50 minutes|
The Human Face is a 4 part BBC series that examines the science behind facial beauty, expression, and fame. Actor and comedian John Cleese investigated identity, perception, creativity and sexuality and their relation to the human face, combining art, technology and human interest stories. Paul Ekman served as scientific adviser.
Part One: Face to Face
Original airdate: 7 March 2001
This episode looks at how the face communicates without speech, focusing on expressions, disguise and the mysterious art of face-reading.
Part Two: Here’s Looking at You!
Original airdate: 14 March 2001
This episode investigates family resemblances, facial recognition and the purpose of the face and its features, going back to five hundred million years ago. It also speculates about the multi-racial face of the future and showed surgeons in Kentucky preparing for the world’s first facial transplant.
Part Three: Beauty
Original airdate: 21 March 2001
This episode studies whether human physical attractiveness is a matter of personal taste, looking at standards of beauty that are shared worldwide: a pretty face suggests fertility, while ugliness suggests poor health. Big eyes, smooth skin and symmetrical features are valued, and can lead to a better job, more money, and better sex.
Part Four: Fame
Original airdate: 25 March 2001
This episode looks at the ubiquity of famous faces on billboards, magazines, and movie screens, and the messages they carry about sex, politics, glamour and power. Considering Diana, Princess of Wales, Jackie Onassis, Marilyn Monroe, it tells the story of the face as icon, from Egyptian mummies to Hollywood stars.
- John Cleese as Himself (Host)
- Elizabeth Hurley as Various roles
- David Attenborough as Himself
- Candice Bergen as Herself
- Pierce Brosnan as Himself
- Mali Finn as Herself
- Charles Fleming as Himself
- William Goldman as Himself
- Kevyn Major Howard as Himself
- Michael Palin as Applicant/peasant
- Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran as Himself
- Joan Rivers as Herself
- Michael Rix as Himself
- Prunella Scales as Pet shop owner/wife