Jeff Gordon, April 2014
"Hi, there! I'm Jeff, a film historian whose passion for vintage movies had started in elementary school. Several years later, in 1968, I began to collect movie memorabilia. This is a pursuit in which I have taken great enjoyment to this very day!
Screen star Linda Darnell has been my number-one focus of collecting since childhood. Additionally, I have nice assemblages of material pertaining to Elvis Presley, the Motown Record Company and the 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation.
While attending high school in New York City, I spent three years volunteering at the Museum of Modern Art’s Film Study Center, filing and cataloging. During this time I was also performing similar chores for both a film poster archive and a movie memorabilia store. The earnings from these jobs enabled me to build upon my cinema collections.
Throughout high school I made Super 8 film “epics,” directing, editing and co-writing movies that were primarily wild take-offs of cinema classics from the 1940s and 1950s.
I earned degrees in Film Production and Cinema Studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. At NYU, I was mentored by William K. Everson, the dean of film historians, who encouraged me to write about movies—something I will always appreciate. My work has appeared in Classic Images, Films of the Golden Age, Focus on Film, and numerous other entertainment-oriented publications. 2010 saw the publication of my very first book, Foxy Lady: The Authorized Biography of Lynn Bari.
In January 1984 I formed Jagarts, a retail business and rental archive dealing with the history of American movies through graphic art, photography and publicity. Prior to that, I received certification as a mechanical artist at Newton Myers’ Gap Workshop in New York. This led me to gigs in print shops and advertising agencies, doing layouts, paste-ups and mechanicals. Through these experiences I gained a greater understanding of commercial graphic design and its promotion—something that has been serving me quite well ever since.
I gave my first film presentation and lecture when I was 26. Much later on, I came to helm a cinema society in Manhattan, screening 16mm theatrical releases and television shows, primarily from my personal collection. This endeavor lasted over six years, through May 2003.
I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee in June 2003 and founded the Cresthill Cinema Club the following June. The CCC began in my small living room, with only eight in attendance. Our group immediately grew by leaps and bounds. In January 2005, we found ourselves happily ensconced in the large clubhouse of the apartment complex where I was then living. We remain there to this day, holding ten programs yearly. Our showings generally attract 40 or more moviegoers. Over these past many years, at least 1000 people have made their way to the Cresthill Cinema Club.
We are a warm and convivial group, from all walks of life and encompassing a large age span. The depth of our movie knowledge varies—but everyone present at the Cresthill Cinema Club has an enthusiastic appreciation of the art of filmed entertainment. All of this leaves me with a sense of gratitude and fulfilment—and joy."