Cinematheque honors Samuel L. Jackson

Tue Dec 2, 2008 10:02pm EST
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By Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - There probably never have been so many expletives used to show appreciation at an awards show as there were at the 23rd annual American Cinematheque Awards, which honored Samuel L. Jackson.

From Justin Timberlake to George Lopez and Andy Garcia to Sharon Stone, the F-bomb and the long-form version of "mofo" were tossed around like chicken feed Monday night as the Hollywood celebrated the actor whose name has become synonymous with "badass."

The honoree, when the time came to accept the award from presenter George Lucas, was more pensive and measured by comparison. Jackson talked about how much the experience of going to the movies meant to him, when he would catch Saturday double features in a segregated theater in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and how important he thinks the Cinematheque's work is in promoting the social side of filmmaking.

"I felt a bond with everyone in that theater," Jackson said. "(It was) a kinship that opened up a whole new world."

Jackson also offered support to Bollywood and those affected by last week's terrorist massacre in Mumbai, India.

"There are some nasty people who want to keep us not socializing and indoors," he said. "We can't let that happen."

One running theme of the evening was guessing what the "L" in "Samuel L. Jackson" stands for. Timberlake, who acted in "Black Snake Moan" with Jackson and who started off the evening, said it stood for "Love. Man love." Lopez said it was definitely not for "Latino."

In perhaps the most bizarre tribute, Stone strutted onstage and, with her hands on her hips, purred words such as "Luscious," "L'amour," "Ladies love Samuel L. Jackson" -- and breathlessly told a story about seeing Jackson "nekkid" in a movie and then trying to talk to him at a premiere. She eventually got serious, talking about the moral compass he brings to his characters, and saying that the "L" stood for "Legend."   Continued...

<p>Samuel L. Jackson speaks as he accepts his lifetime achievement award at the American Cinematheque tribute honoring him in Beverly Hills, California December 1, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>