Flawed human beings that we are, we routinely take for granted the people, places, and traditions that make this city special. One of the gifts of the holiday season is the chance to convey our appreciation with a heartfelt sentiment -- if not a more tangible (read pourable) form of expression -- to the many unsung heroes we encounter in a typical week. Local filmmaker Richard Gutierrez doesn't need a special occasion; he just picks up his camera.
His short, affectionate documentaries spotlight a range of locals who dedicate themselves to brightening our prosaic existence. Making Christmas: The View From the Tom and Jerry Christmas Tree lifts the curtain on the Dolores Heights couple who've reveled for more than 20 years in the gargantuan effort of turning their house into a magical setting for a must-see incarnation of the iconic flora. 35¢ and a Dream: The Tale of Cliff's Variety salutes the long-standing family-owned business that serves the Castro with grace and good humor. The hour-long Sweet Onion Salad: San Francisco Poetry, Music, and Other Words (screening at the two later shows) pays homage to our town's street artists. Santa will be on hand for each family-oriented show, adding every ticketholder to his "Nice" list.
Richard Gutierrez's documentaries start Friday, Dec. 21 at 6, 7:15, and 9:30 p.m. at the Roxie, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $10-$15.
Sweet Onion Salad