|Who is it?||Actor|
|Birth Day||July 19, 2017|
|Birth Place||Vancouver, Washington, United States|
|Age||3 YEARS OLD|
|Directed by||Gus Van Sant|
|Produced by||Diane Keaton Dany Wolf JT LeRoy|
|Written by||Gus Van Sant|
|Starring||Alex Frost Eric Deulen John Robinson|
|Edited by||Gus Van Sant|
|Production company||Meno Film Company|
|Distributed by||Fine Line Features HBO Films|
|Release date||October 24, 2003 (2003-10-24)|
|Running time||81 minutes|
|Box office||$10 million|
The title Elephant is a tribute to the 1989 BBC short film of the same name, directed by Alan Clarke. Van Sant originally believed Clarke's title referred to the parable of the blind men and an elephant, in which several blind men try to describe an elephant, and each draws different conclusions based on which body part he touched, and Van Sant's film uses that interpretation, as the same general timeline is shown multiple times from multiple viewpoints. Later, Van Sant discovered Clarke's film referred to the phrase "elephant in the room" (the collective denial of some obvious problem). Also, Gus Van Sant named Chantal Akerman's film Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) an inspiration.
Elephant was filmed in Van Sant's hometown, Portland, Oregon, in late 2002, on the former campus of Whitaker Middle School (previously Adams High School). Whitaker was closed by the Portland Public Schools in 2001 due to structural problems and safety concerns with the school building. The Whitaker/Adams building, completed in 1969, was torn down in 2007.
The film opened in a limited release in North America on October 24, 2003 in 6 theaters and grossed $93,356 with an average of $15,559 per theater ranking 36th at the box office. It ended up making $1,266,955 domestically and $8,745,067 elsewhere for a total of $10,012,022, above its $3 million budget.
The Red Lake shootings that occurred in 2005 was briefly blamed on the film, as it was viewed by gunman Jeff Weise 17 days prior to the event. A friend of Weise said that he brought the film over to a friend's house and skipped ahead to parts that showed two students planning and carrying out a school massacre. Although they talked about the film afterwards, Weise said and did nothing to make anyone suspect what he was planning.
Elephant is the second film in Van Sant's "Death Trilogy"—the first is Gerry (2002) and the third Last Days (2005)—all three of which are based on actual events.