Marco, Étoile Filante (Shooting Star) is the story of Siffredi doing what most riders don’t – getting outside the pipe and going extreme. This weekend’s screening will be the U.S. premiere.
At the age of 19, Siffredi made the first descent of Nat Blanc at the Aiguille Verte in the French Alps, followed by many more first descents on his board around the world soon thereafter. Siffredi also carried out the first descent of Everest on a snowboard in 2001. One year later, on Sept. 8, he returned to the summit of Everest for another decent on slopes of 50 degrees; this time, however, he did not return.
Marco, Étoile Filante begins with the sounds of heavy breathing, the successful summit of Everest and the final tracks Siffredi makes as he begins his decent into eternity, with flashbacks to the wild-haired, gap-toothed teenager’s early years, when he began to go extreme high in the French Alps – where he learned that as a snowboarder, he could join forces with extreme skiers to do the unimaginable.
Some of his ascents seem much hairier than his descents, but Siffredi proves time and again that riding can be pushed to the extreme, as well, until, finally, he set his sights on Everest. Although the film footage of the first and successful snowboard descent of Everest on a snowboard is seen from a distance, the vertical and the technical boarding he accomplishes is truly amazing.
Filmmaker Bertrand Delapierre captures Siffredi riding at high speeds, cutting through powder and narrow cliff bands at ease, as well as his grueling jump turns that are so obviously exhausting at 8,000 meters in elevation. Both are great examples of Siffredi’s talent and desire to be the world’s best extreme rider.
Marco, Étoile Filante is the portrait of an exceptional young man who does not fit into any easy extreme skiing stereotypes.
The 90-minute film will be screened at High Camp (the Telluride Conference Center), Sunday, at 7:40 p.m.