iMDB tells me that although Gus Van Sant got the inspiration of his title from
the 1989 BBC short film ‘Elephant’, directed by Alan Clarke, he misinterpreted the meaning. He believed it was about 'three blind men describing an elephant’, hence the variety of viewpoints and lack of complete reasoning, rather than 'the elephant in the room’, which I believe the film still incorporates in the form of America’s issues with guns and the reasons for its numerous high school shootings.
For me, Elephant (2003) is incredible. I love the tracking shots and I think this is a perfect example of less being more. Though based on an intense plot, the editing is slow paced, which I feel builds the tension. It’s both beautiful and harrowing.