How The Internet ‘Discovered’ A ‘Lost’ ‘Martin Scorsese’ Film

While Twitter seems to be imploding in slow motion and other social networks vie to become its successor, Tumblr, longtime home of the postmodern meme and weirdly enduring inside joke, is busy making up a classic movie — and its expansive accompanying lore — for the Hell of it. If you log into Tumblr this week, the chances are you’ll not only see fake “Goncharov” posters and gifsets, but also fake Letterboxd reviews, totally made-up (but hilariously real-sounding) discourse about the film’s politics and queer theory readings, a “Goncharov” score (compiled by @thisisnotjuli), and a seemingly endless amount of meta-textual history about the making of the non-existent film.

Within a matter of days, the joke has also expanded beyond the boundaries of the site where it started. If you search “Goncharov” on Letterboxd, you’ll find lists like “films inspired by Goncharov (1973),” by user @foxantoine. If you check TikTok, there’s a chance you’ll find a “Goncharov” cosplay or explainer video; the “Goncharov” tag, which admittedly also shares a name with a manga character, now has over 2 million views. Uquiz user @sormsorm even made a “What Goncharov (1973) Character are you?” quiz that, as of publication time, has been taken over 38,000 times (I got Goncharov himself!).

And the movie, which as previously stated does not existcurrently has more works of fanfiction available on Archive of Our Own than James Cameron’s “Avatar” films, popular new shows like “She-Hulk: Attorney At Law” and “Severance,” and, I think it’s safe to say, any actual A Scorsese film.

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