The film ‘Variações’, by the Portuguese director João Maia, was the most-watched on the opening weekend, with about 49,000 viewers, according to data from the Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual (ICA).
The feature film about musician António Variações, starring Sérgio Praia, led the screenings between premiere day, Thursday, and last Sunday, with 49,005 viewers and 271,000 euros gross box office revenue.
‘Variações’ is inspired by the life of the minhoto barber António Joaquim Rodrigues Ribeiro, who wished to live on music and who in Lisbon became António Variações, marking Portuguese music since the 1980s.
Sérgio Praia who, besides the physical interpretation of the musician, also sings all the songs, recreating the embryonic composition and recording sessions of the songs in several cassettes – alone at home with a recorder and a rhythm box – until the first performance of Variações, at the Trumps disco in Lisbon in 1981.
The film focuses mainly on the transformation of Antonio Ribeiro into António Variações, in a period of life between 1977 and 1981.
Besides Sérgio Praia, the cast includes, among others, Filipe Duarte, Victoria Guerra, Augusto Madeira, Filipe Albuquerque, Lucia Moniz, Afonso Lagarto, Maria Jose Paschoal, Jose Raposo and Dinarte Freitas.
Bold and irreverent, influenced by fado, popular music, and pop-rock, Antonio Variations died at age 39 on June 13, 1984. He left only two albums edited shortly before he died: ‘Guardian Angel’ (1983) and ‘ Giving and receiving ‘(1984).
According to ICA, of the 27 Portuguese or co-produced Portuguese films that premiered this year in theaters, ‘Variações’ was the first to lead the weekend ‘ranking’.