berlin film festival

* The Berlin Film Festival, aka Berlinale, kicks off today, with Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grandmaster, a martial arts film about Bruce Lee’s mentor Yip Man that’s running out of competition because Kar-Wai is also heading up this year’s jury. 19 films will compete for prizes, and French filmmaker Claude Lanzmann, who made the 9-and-a-half hour genocide documentary  Shoah, will be honoured at the fest, which runs until the 17th.

* New York Fashion Week also begins today, and Kenneth Cole is making a welcome return, after a 7 year hiatus. Ever inspiring, this is the man who started Kenneth Cole Productions 30 years ago in a trailer outside an industry shoe show in Manhattan because he wasn’t officially part of the line-up. Cole was also honoured for his work as head of amfAR at a gala last night.

* Elton John, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, Mumford & Sons and Mavis Staples will perform a special tribute to the late drummer and vocalist Levon Helm at Grammys this weekend. The musicians are set to sing The Weight, one of The Band’s best known songs, off of their 1968 debut Music From Big Pink.

* Justin Bieber has scored his 5th #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, becoming the youngest singer to land 5 #1 albums. Before releasing Believe Acoustic, he previously tied with Miley Cyrus on that feat. This album from the Biebs’, who turns 19 in March, also means he’s had a #1 album for 4 consecutive years – a feat only seen 9 times before in the chart’s 57-year history. And yet no Grammy nominations this year. It’s like he’s the Ben Affleck of the music world.

* Organizers of New York’s Governors Ball have announced the brave-but-exciting-if-it-works third act for the 3-day fest in June. Axl Rose’s Guns N’ Roses will join Kings of Leon and Kanye West as the headliners for the event, which also sees the likes of Nas, The Lumineers, Kendrick Lamar, Japandroids and St Lucia on the bill.

[Pic: Ziyi Zhang in The Grandmaster from the Berlinale]