Explaining Goncharov’s “Martin Scorsese’s Lost Film” (1973)

Naples, Italy. Immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union. A man runs through the cobblestone streets with blood on his hands. An American drives an ice pick into the eyes of a screaming victim before breaking down and crying. A blonde woman in a fur coat takes a long pull of a cigarette and blows a cloud of smoke into the face of her best friend, who is also her worst enemy. The clock is ticking and ticking and ticking before it echoes. Time is running out. Their time is up from the start.

This is it Goncharov (1973), the “Martin Scorsese movie” that Tumblr users found themselves obsessing over. The reason you’ve never heard of it is because the movie doesn’t actually exist. Tumblr users simply got so deep with the inside joke that they created a masked poster, lore, and tons of rebellions for this fantasy movie. It’s a level of zest that makes the movie feel real (though it sure isn’t).

Photo: Columbia Pictures

What is Goncharov (1973)?

It’s just the best mafia movie ever made. A Tumblr user shooting high says so Goncharov (1973) is one of Scorsese’s earlier films, although it was never officially released and was unfortunately rejected at awards, turning it into a work for Lost Media. It was actually based on a little-known book trilogy, says user thefallofasparrow, though Scorsese has updated the setting for contemporary times — well, sorry, the editor tells me I need to get serious.

Goncharov (1973) is a Scorsese fake that Tumblr users copied and created a massive web of inside jokes around. It all started with a bizarre sign that proclaimed “Greatest Mafia Movie Ever Made, Martin Scorsese Presents Goncharoff” on a pair of fake shoes owned by a Tumblr user. The original post is actually pretty old, but inexplicably started gaining traction the weekend of November 19th. User Beelzeebub created a poster for this non-existent movie that listed some of the main characters and actors — particularly the ones Scorsese had worked with on previous films — and a mysterious setting. From there, everyone decided to play in some giant online cinematic LARP.

So, uh, what is the plot of Goncharov (1973)?

Former disco owner Goncharov comes to Naples, Italy, after the fall of the Soviet Union and becomes embroiled in the world of organized crime. He ends up crossing paths with Andrey, the banker. The two experience so much sexual tension, that many believe all deaths would be prevented if they had sex. Meanwhile, his unhappy wife, Katya, has to come to terms with her father’s death when she becomes involved with a mysterious woman named Sofia.

There is also a guy named Ice Pick Joe. People are killed with snow picks. This may be a metaphor for mental health issues. There are also a lot of decorations around the clock. Fans are putting together a Google Doc to keep track of the growing ideas for the movie.

What do people do … with Goncharov (1973)?

In every corner of Tumblr, people play together. Sometimes this means posting about fake scenes the way they post a real movie or showing they’re excited about it. Other posts are long descriptive analyzes of non-existent scenes and characters. There are also screenshots photoshopped to look like frames of the movie; aesthetic mood boards; fan art characters; memes about the movie; and Letterboxd reviews. People composed the movie score. Someone edited Riverdale scenes so that the characters refer to the movie.

Hell, even Lynda Carter – yeah, The Lynda Carter – I started playing along.

It’s Tumblr at the height of Tumblr — users are creating the same kind of content they would about a real movie or show, and streaming it the same way, only this time the movie is fake and everyone else is going with an inside joke. It’s a ‘yes,’ for social media platforms, where the latest memes aren’t just a format or image to copy and paste, but engage the desire to create and share. This is the beauty of Tumblr.

Why do we care about Goncharov (1973)?

Here’s the thing: Tumblr catches a new weird phenomenon every couple of months and then wholeheartedly sticks to the segment that completely saturates the platform. Nobody outside of Tumblr really realizes that, because most people wrote off Tumblr as dead after the NSFW ban. But Tumblr has been pretty active all along — especially when it comes to inside jokes. For example, just a few months ago, a group of users decided to pretend that Pirates of the Caribbean had a legal gay divorce, and everyone went along with it.

Robert De Niro wears Cape Fear with blood on his face

Photo: Universal Pictures

But due to the recent turmoil of Twitter, many people are revitalizing their old Tumblr blogs and starting to pay attention to Tumblr’s weird and wonderful meme system (I say this with love) for the first time in years. Tumblr jokes seep into Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram, but usually with more of an interim — and by then, Tumblr has moved on to the next weird anomaly. But with all eyes on Tumblr now, this time it was fast tracked.

Where can I watch Goncharov (1973)?

Goncharov (1973) Available to stream inside your mind. JK – The best way to have fun Goncharov (1973) is to create a Tumblr account, follow some blogs, and let the internet do its thing. If you feel really inclined, you can try playing with it. But don’t worry too much about trying to keep track of all the “flag”. The best way to use Tumblr — or any social media platform, for that matter — is to not take things too seriously. Sit back, relax and enjoy the most amazing mafia movie ever made.

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