Cinephiles on Tumblr have just discovered a new film that they like. Since it is many decades old, it’s possible that you’ve previously encountered it. The title of the film is “Goncharov,” and Robert De Niro plays as the eponymous character, a Russian hit men who was once the proprietor of a discothèque. This story is set in Naples, which is located in Italy. The role of his wife, Katya, is played by Cybill Shepherd, while the supporting cast also includes Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, and Harvey Keitel.
The picture, which was released in 1973 and was advertised as “Martin Scorsese presents,” had everything: a murder, a love triangle, homoerotic overtones, a brilliant original music, and a dramatic ending sequence that cinema enthusiasts have been discussing for years.
There is only one more item that should be mentioned about “Goncharov.” It does not exist.
The much-loved hoax movie that originated on Tumblr recounts how it all started with a shoe. A Tumblr user from some years ago uploaded a picture to the site showing a pair of “knockoff boots” that they had purchased online and that had come with a peculiar tag. The headline proclaimed it to be “the best mafia movie that has ever been created.” “GONCHAROV is brought to you by Martin Scorsese.” “Domenico Proccacci production,” it continued. A movie directed by Matteo JWHJ0715. The last sentence of the paragraph was labelled “About the Naples Mafia.”
After seeing it on the Tumblr page of a friend in August of 2020, Aveline McEntire, a student at a university in Missouri, decided to reblog the picture on her own personal account.
Ms. McEntire supplemented her reblog with an extra picture, which was a snapshot of a remark made by a third Tumblr user. The comment said, “this moron hasn’t watched goncharov.” Ms. McEntire, who is twenty years old, had not given the post much attention until very recently, when it unexpectedly began rapidly gaining popularity, with tens of thousands of people starting to reblog it around the beginning of November.
“Goncharov” was the most popular trending subject on the site as of Monday evening, while Mr. Scorsese was in second place. The Pokémon franchise came in third.
Tumblr, of all places, has joined in on the fun. On Sunday, the streaming service tweeted from its official account that the film “Goncharov” was ahead of its time and that “its contribution to cinema is exceptional.” It’s not often that a movie tells so many different yet related storylines, but this one does. It’s hard to believe that so few people have really seen it.
Users of Tumblr have developed a complete universe to substantiate the claim that “Goncharov” exists in the actual world. Alex Korotchuk, a 20-year-old artist from Prague, designed a poster for the film that is riddled with bullet holes and credits Matteo JWHJ0715 as the director of the “best mafia movie (n)ever produced.” Korotchuk said that 50 individuals had placed orders to acquire a print version of the poster. Alix Latta, a music educator from Indiana who is just 25 years old, wrote a theme tune in the form of a waltz. She was influenced by the theme from “The Godfather.”
On her Tumblr, Lynda Carter participated as well in the conversation. The star of “Wonder Woman” shared two black-and-white images with the caption, “Me and “The Fonz” at the premiere of Goncharov (1973) at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.” The photos were taken by Henry Winkler. The picture is a snapshot that was taken of the two stars in 1977 while they were attending the Golden Globe Awards. Letterboxd, which is a platform for user-generated movie reviews, has, according to a spokesperson of the company, erased various user reviews of the false movie.
At first, 23-year-old Elena Asofsky was a victim of the mythmaking. “I begin by questioning my housemates. I was like, “Hey, have you heard of this whole ‘Goncharov’ thing? What is this, exactly? Can we get in on it?’ My roommate, however, is of the opinion that “I know, it’s false.” It is not any of it genuine.'” Since that time, Ms. Asofsky, who works as a substitute teacher and is also an artist in Columbus, Ohio, has been creating fan art that is influenced by the made-up movie.
The phrase “BASED ON THE BEST SELLING EXPOSÉ BY ROBERTO SAVIANO ABOUT THE NAPLES MAFIA” is included in the tagline for the film “Gomorrah.” Particulars that have a startling resemblance to the boots that sparked this entire drama to begin with.
On the Tumblr post that Mr. Littrell used to chronicle his discoveries, there is a comment that says, “I really want Scorsese to see this and maybe make Goncharov.”