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Cowboy and Indian

Canada, 1971 (MIFF 1973)

Director: Don Owen

A warm portrait of two Toronto artists and art teachers, Robert Markle and Gordon Rayner.

Rayner, with his handlebar moustache, represents the cowboy of the title, Markle, half Indian ('the better half, he says), is the Indian Rayner plays the drums, Markle the electric piano. There are women in the film—Markle's wife, Rayner's beautiful mistress— but they stay in the background The film is about the friendship of the men we see them teaching, listening to jazz or playing it in a downtown tavern discussing their paintings, reminiscing over beer.

Both are nearing then middle years. In their pleasure in each other's company, in the shared joys of art and music, they are holding the winters numbness at bay.

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