February 8, 2023


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Why the Internet Invented a Fake Martin Scorsese Film Called ‘Goncharov’

Why the Internet Invented a Fake Martin Scorsese Film Called ‘Goncharov’

“People just seem to really enjoy coming together to pretend fake things are real,” writes the Guardian.

“Thousands of Tumblr users have been making posters, soundtracks, drawings and fan fiction for a 1973 Scorsese film starring Robert De Niro — but it never existed.”

Released in 1973, the little-seen Scorsese flick starred Robert De Niro as Goncharov, “a former discotheque owner who comes to Naples after the fall of the Soviet Union” with the goal of becoming a mob boss. Harvey Keitel plays the eye-patched Andrey (or Andrei) “The Banker” Daddano; Gene Hackman plays Valery Michailov; Al Pacino appears as Mario Ambrosini and Cybill Shepherd plays Goncharov’s wife, Katya. Apparently, it was really good and was added to the Criterion Collection.

And you’ve never heard of it because it doesn’t actually exist….

A few years ago, a Tumblr user posted a photo of some “knockoff boots” they had ordered online that had a very strange tag on the tongue: “The greatest mafia movie ever made. Martin Scorsese presents GONCHAROV. Domenico Proccacci production. A film by Matteo JWHJ0715. About the Naples Mafia.” This mostly went ignored until 2020, when another Tumblr user reblogged a comment made on the original post, reading: “this idiot hasn’t seen goncharov….”

The internet works in mysterious ways; earlier this month, Tumblr user beelzeebub made a fake poster for the film, tens of thousands of people were suddenly sharing it and lo: a new Scorsese film was born… [L]ike all of the best jokes, people have really committed to the bit. There’s the film’s poster, which has the tagline “greatest mafia movie (n)ever made”. A music teacher in Indiana composed a theme song for Goncharov, inspired by The Godfather. There is also a cash-in video game, with an accompanying soundtrack, and a fake VHS.

“Academics” wrote essays analysing the film, which were published in (fake) film journals. A representative for the movie reviewing platform Letterboxd even told the New York Times that they had had to remove multiple reviews for the film that had been submitted by users.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.