Semáforo en Rojo is perhaps the first attempt at film-making by a then fledging Colombian film industry. It is listed as a joint Mexican/Colombian project, which is technically true, but it was Mexican capital that bankrolled the project, in an effort to secure better distribution of the film. Also, a lot of the equipment used to film the movie was Mexican, and since, compared to the Colombians, the Mexican film-makers were the "Seasoned Pros", they offered technical advice on many aspects of the production. Post-production and marketing for Latin America were also done in Mexico.
Both Mexico and Colombia wanted the director to be from their own country. But in the end, Julián Soler, a Mexican was named. José Caparrós Aguiar, a Spaniard, is solely credited for the screenplay, but it is rumored it was done in collaboration with a Colombian, uncredited.
The film itself is somewhat disjointed. It is obvious there were different factions, pulling the film in different directions. At times there is fast- paced action, at others the film seems to stall. There are certain scenes that strive for an artsy European feel, others that are apparently influenced by American film noir, and even some awkward moments where comic relief is attempted. Production values leave a lot to be desired. Outdoor location shots, for the most part, looked washed out and perhaps overexposed.
The film never convinces the viewer it really knows where it's going, if anyplace at all. The acting is mostly passable, with a couple amateurish exceptions. But, if you can manage to see it, Semáforo en Rojo is a rather interesting slice of Latin-American cinematic history. It is also worth noting that the movie shows us images of Bogota, the capital, two decades before it had experienced any violence associated with narcotrafficking.
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