Winter has come to Naples, and with it comes a reckoning that has left fans of the Goncharov film shaking in their boots.
Goncharov, a film directed by Martin Scorsese when it was released in 1973, follows a Russia-born Mafia boss of the titular name. The Mafia boss returns to Russia after some time away where he reunites with Katya, his wife. They share a loveless marriage, with both Kaya and Goncharov finding more fulfilling relationships with their same-sex friends, Sofia and Andrey. There is a lot of homoerotic tension between both couples, which is mildly surprising for a Scorsese film.
As expected with a film so heavy on violence, Goncharov does end up dying in the end. It’s ending has left many fans wondering whether there could potentially be a sequel.
“Goncharov, a Martin Scorsese film? Back in 1973?” you may be wondering. “I’ve never heard of that film.” If that’s the case, then don’t worry your pretty little head. It’s because, despite the best efforts of everyone involved on websites like Tumblr and TikTok, Goncharov isn’t actually a real film. I know, I know, I had you fooled, right? I was disappointed too.
If the film is false though, why has it become such a big deal over the past few days? Well, let me explain.
It all started back in 2020, where Tumblr user zootycoon posted a photograph of some boots they had bought online. The tag name on these boots was Goncharov, a non-existent movie that claimed to have been presented by Martin Scorsese. Alongside the name was a small quote attributed to the tag, which simply said “the greatest mafia movie ever made.” Eventually it was figured out by another tumblr user in 2022 that the tag was supposed to be in reference to a crime-filled drama film named Gommorah. Scorsese had put his name to it to help with hype, but outside of that has no other contribution to the Italian film.
Yet this fake film was not destined to fade into obscurity. On November 18th, Twitter user Beelzebub created a movie poster depicting what Martin Scorsese’s ‘lost film’ could look like and, despite it being very not real, a fandom and community exploded around it – propelled forward by fanart, loreposts and even fanfiction. Without even realizing the impact, Goncharov’s community swelled in numbers seemingly over night.
But why does this matter? Because in the space of only a handful of days, Goncharov has impacted fan and fandom culture in a way that’s only been felt in small, insular spaces. Now however, thanks to fast-paced social media platforms like TikTok, Twitter, and Tumblr, this very much fake film has grown into its own beast. It has its Know Your Meme page, and the pretense of it being tangible is still ongoing, even in mainstream media.
Goncharov’s presence online is fun, hilarious and engaging and, as to be expected, dominated by queer fandom who are filling in the blanks of the Goncharov film with nothing but homoerotic tension. What’s not to love about that?