Albert Lewin began as a critic, went to work for Samuel Goldwyn in the 1920s, became Irving Thalberg’s right-hand man in the 1930s, and produced a handful of excellent films before becoming a director at age 48. Each of his six movies is rarefied, proudly literary, mythic, meticulously art-directed, and delicately haunting. His last—and strangest—is The Living Idol, based on his own novel about an archeologist who comes to believe that a jaguar in captivity is the physical manifestation of a Mayan god. This is not a great film, but it is a very unusual and a uniquely compelling one: it feels like an emanation from an alternate world of moviemaking. A Cohen Media Group release.