Coming to theatres today, Wednesday, August 1:
CALLING ALL EARTHLINGS
The mysterious story of a man who claimed to talk to aliens and those who try to preserve his legacy.
In 1953, George Van Tassel, an aviation engineer who had worked for Howard Hughes, purportedly encountered an alien who shared plans for a device to generate unlimited energy and work scientific miracles. Van Tassel constructed the Integraton, a flying saucer-shaped building in the desert, but died unexpectedly just before it was to be activated. This, of course, fueled conspiracy theories that he was assassinated by dark forces that didn’t want him to share his secrets with the world. However, as shown in Berman’s very loosely constructed film, Van Tassel has amassed his share of acolytes, many seemingly more eccentric than the inventor himself. Some share stories about the man, others have taken over the stewardship of the remains of the Integraton (after much of its inner workings were stripped by vandals), while still others maintain the most tenuous connections to the subject. While there’s some intriguing history here, its presentation is all over the place, stopped and started in favor of introducing more and more figures who are often barely provided the space to be developed fully, resulting in a fairly messy, and not particularly satisfying, surface exploration of what could have been an out of this world topic.