Becoming Santa

I expected the Icon Lounge to be packed last night when Cinema Falls showed the documentary "Becoming Santa."

There were lots of empty seats, however. Too bad because it was a charming film about a man who goes to Santa school (yes, Virginia, that’s a real place) and spend one holiday season as Santa Claus. He even goes so far as having his beard and moustache bleached white (yellowish white in the case of his moustache) for authenticity.

There are some Christmas movies I make a point of watching (“A Christmas Carol” in the George C. Scott and Muppets versions, “Scrooged” and “White Christmas,” even though I own a copy of it and could watch it every day of the year). Other movies I enjoy take places around Christmas time (“While You Were Sleeping,” for example.) And some I watch just because they’re on (“Elf,” where a little maniacal Will Ferrell goes a long way and, yes, “A Christmas Story,” because I’ve gotten tired of it).

"Becoming Santa" may have to move into the rotation. There are some goofy Santas out there, and at least one in the documentary that I’m not sure should ever put on a red suit, but most of them just love doing it.

Plus, it included a fascinating history lesson about Black Peter. I knew about Black Peter but the rabid racism around the character was new to me.

You missed your chance at seeing “Becoming Santa” at the Icon (and also seeing a Father Christmas in the best costume ever), but do watch for it. Even if you don’t see it until July.

P.S. Next Cinema Falls film: "Chasing Ice." Get your tickets here.