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Gaumont’s off to the future

'Chrysalis Memories' features high tech tie-ins

Gaumont, the world’s oldest film company, has gone futuristic.

The French major will host a private screening for buyers tonight of its latest film, the $12 million “Chrysalis Memories,” which features prototype cars from Renault, keyboard-less computers from Dell and Google Earth, used to track micro-chipped cops who’ve gone AWOL.

It is unusual for European films to team with brands in this way, but Gaumont’s Franck Chorot, who is producing Philippe Leclerc’s helming debut, wanted to give the pic a believably near-futuristic look with some real high-tech toys.

“Gaumont revived interest in French crime thrillers with ’36’ and we are hoping Chrysalis” will do the same for futuristic films, which have been out of fashion since “Fifth Element,” Chorot said Wednesday.

“Chrysalis” stars Melanie Thierry as a young woman who loses her memory in an accident. Marthe Keller plays a prof who controls a gizmo that can insert or remove people’s memories and Albert Dupontel a cop investigating the theft of a machine much like the professor’s.

Searching through Gaumont’s film library for possible remake projects, Chorot and Leclerq came upon the classic French thriller “Les yeux sans visage,” in which a deadly solution is found to repairing a young girl’s looks after she is injured in an accident.

Script was penned by Leclerq, Franck Philippon, Nicolas Peufaillit and Aude Py.

Gaumont will release “Chrysalis” Oct. 31. Another upcoming futuristic thriller is Mathieu Kassovitz’s much-awaited “Babylon AD,” which is being distributed by Studio Canal. Meanwhile, Michel Houellebecq’s is lensing the adaptation of his own novel “The Possibility of an Island,” although that one is set many centuries hence.

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