Martin Scorsese is the mind behind some of the best movies of all time, having directed films like Taxi Driver, The Irishman, The Wolf of Wall Street and ‘90s movie Goodfellas. He’s won a total of 20 Academy Awards, 23 BAFTAs, and 11 Golden Globes — but do you know about a recently-resurfaced classic of his?
Remarked by many across Tumblr as the “greatest mafia movie ever made,” 1973’s Goncharov, which focuses on the Naples mafia, has a star-studded cast including Robert De Niro as Lo Staniero/Goncharov, Al Pacino as Mario Ambrosini, and Gene Hackman as Michailov amongst others. As a thriller movie, Goncharov sounds pretty believable — the only problem is that it doesn’t actually exist.
Instead, Tumblr has decided to collectively gaslight the internet into thinking the arthouse drama movie actually exists by sharing profound criticism, realistic-looking posters, memes, and gifsets. As the internet rallies to make Goncharov look as believable as possible, the hashtag #goncharov has become the #1 trending topic on Tumblr, with the bit also making its way over to Twitter.
“This movie is a childhood favourite of mine and I LOVE that it’s finally getting some recognition!” one Tumblr user joked. “This makes up for all of the 1974 Oscars snubs,” another added. A third user asked: “How am I supposed to use any other social media site? Which other site has a userbase so committed to the bit that a nonexistent movie can trend at number one?”
In terms of what makes the bit so attractive to people, one popular Tumblr post explains: “The Goncharov meme isn’t so much impenetrable to outsiders as it is indistinguishable from business as usual. Goncharov shitposts sound exactly like how film nerds actually sound when discussing a real film which they have not seen, but do not wish to admit they have not seen, so from the uninvolved perspective nothing has changed.”
Tumblr themselves have even joined in on the banter, with the official Twitter account writing: “Goncharov was inexplicably ahead of it time and it’s contribution to cinema is remarkable. Rarely does a film tell as many diverse-yet-interconnected stories. Hard to imagine so few people have seen it.”
If you want to explore films that are perhaps stranger than fiction, check out our guide to movies based on a true story.