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TO FEB. 14

If I’ve learned anything during a young, foolish life’s worth of experience with women, it’s this: You don’t shit where you eat, bro. Sure, a little coat-closet action with that hottie in sales during the office Christmas party may seem like a good idea when you’ve got half a bottle of whiskey flowing through your veins. But really, aren’t you just setting yourself up for a different kind of screwjob in the future? How exactly Italian director Federico Fellini and his actress-wife Giulietta Masina managed to pull it off, I’ll never understand—but maybe the secret to successfully balancing your romantic and professional lives can be found in the four films screening in the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center’s “The Mastery of Fellini & Masina” retrospective. At the very least, La Strada (pictured) has taught me that if I finally get that circus-strongman gig I’ve been pining for all these years and fall in love with one of the clowns, I shouldn’t get rough with her. And if Ginger and Fred is any indication, landing a spot as a celebrity impersonator on a television variety show is a great excuse to call up an old co-worker and jump-start our relationship. Good things to keep in mind. But when it comes to keeping the day-to-day routine fresh, Fellini’s not so great with the answers. I mean, what the hell did the two of them talk about at the dinner table after spending all day together on the set? “Hey honey, how was your day?” “Well, the film sucks, the director’s an asshole, and that Mastroianni creep keeps giving me the eye—but who knows, maybe I’ll be able to squeeze another Best Actress out of this piece of shit. Pass the potatoes, baby!” The series runs through Tuesday, Feb. 14 (see Showtimes for weekly schedule), at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $9.25. (301) 495-6720. (Matthew Borlik)