“This is an intelligent and provocative book. Pizzato marshals several disciplines ranging from anthropology to performance studies as he explains the often bizarre human animal in fact and fiction. His close reading of the monstrous homo sapien illuminates our attraction to the grotesque in cinema and other media.”
"Mark Pizzato has been building on film and theater theory to explore the no man's land between the imaginative arts and the sciences. At the same time, videocams draw us into real life dramas thousands of miles away, while virtual reality makes it possible to share imaginative narratives constructed by the arts. This is a new cultural playground and probably one that can be used for good or ill; Pizzato is an important guide to the new twilight zone."
"Mark Pizzato has established himself as one of the leading figures marrying psychoanalytic thought with neuroscience, and his newest book, Beast-People Onscreen and in Your Brain provocatively extends his thinking to the question of the animal. Pizzato’s unique expertise in the theater enables him to shed wholly new light on what brain scientists mean when they talk about the 'theater of consciousness.' This is a book that will fundamentally change how we think about our own animality and the part that the animal plays in the functioning of our psyche."
"Using the tools of neuroscience, ethology, psychoanalysis, developmental psychology, evolution theory, and aesthetics (South Asian and Western), Pizzato links what he calls the 'inner and outer theatres of the brain,' the cave art of paleolithic Europe, Christianity's blood rites, and shamanism to the 'modern screen monsters' of vampires, werewolves, hybrids, and humanoid apes. By thoroughly expounding/exploring these links, this book will change the way we think about performance."
"Beast-People Onscreen and In Your Brain is an ambitious, impressive and compelling work of theory that seamlessly weaves together neuro-science, psychoanalysis, cognitivism, film theory, prehistoric anthropology and theater theory to address our enduring fascination with the feral creatures who dwell within and without the body and psyche. Spanning the entire arc of human history, Pizzato’s book makes a clear and convincing case that we have never outgrown the dark, sheltering cave humans claimed as their first home and performance stage. For anyone in the humanities and cognitive sciences interested in how and why fearsome stories and monstrous pageants continue to enthrall, Beast People Onscreen is a vital contribution to the literature."