“Eisenberg combines softly glowing re-photographed footage of occupied France during World War II - women in kerchiefs, Hitler at the Eiffel Tower - with a sound collage from a radio lecture by Claude Levi-Strauss (in English) played against the Beethoven Opus 59 string quartet. Levi-Strauss is talking about his obsessive need to understand the relations between Nature and Culture, how meaning is passed from one system of signs to another, the mystery of form and repetition is intrinsic to it, and this incredible Beethoven is playing, and we remember how Beethoven soothed the breasts of so many of the S.S. at bedtime; and these images, seductive and horrifying, combining and recombining, repeated in varying contexts; frozen gestures, cut off midway. Two boys on a bicycle - one moves his arm in what could be the beginning of a simple wave of the hand, or a secret sign for the "eternal return". The desire to make meaning takes a slider into the unthinkable and the unspeakable.”
“Cooperation Of Parts is not a literal documentary or narrative but a complex poetic text that constructs a dialogue with history through written and spoken statements and an inquiring camera. The film looks at the past through historical monuments and juxtaposes these shots with scenes of daily life in the cities of Eastern Europe. It fuses the personal diary tradition with the formal concerns of conceptual cinema to vividly present the towns in Poland that Eisenberg visited, towns that offer mute testimony of the concentration camps where his family was destroyed. This is a moving and compelling self-portrait created through the vision of the present and the memory of the culture, places, and people of the past.”
“Pulling in anchors of ephemerality, reconstruction, and salvage, and treating the present as the past and vice versa in a redemptive fashion, Daniel Eisenberg interrogates the soul of history. “PERSISTENCE” completes a trilogy of films that started with “DISPLACED PERSON,” and “COOPERATION OF PARTS,” though its counter-linear imperative seemingly aims at making such structures arbitrary. Footage of various sites around Germany being rearranged after the fall of the Berlin Wall enables Eisenberg to de- then recontextualize the flotsam and jetsam of a collective memorial record that is ever up for grabs. Eisenberg literally reaches into the dust-bin of neglected film (glowing, gorgeous color tracking shots of post-war German rubble taken by Army Signal Corps camera crews), architecture (museums, statues, the fractured, impermanent itself), and diaries (texts coded only by time), then strains what he has retrieved into this personalized artifact. Canny quotes from Roberto Rossellini’s "GERMANY: YEAR ZERO," in which an emaciated German boy wanders through the ruins of 1945 Berlin, bolsters the film’s stance against linear time. “PERSISTENCE” reminds the viewer of the human element -- erring memory -- in the pose and posture of history.
"In this simultaneously chilly and elegiac voyeur's eye view of the artificially illuminated world of Chicago after dark, director Daniel Eisenberg and cinematographer Ingo Kratisch restrict themselves almost entirely to long, stationary establishing shots. Here there be foundry workers and airplane mechanics, security personnel and theatergoers, bus-station waiting rooms and late-night diners, check-cashing parlors and highway toll booths, and always the Hancock Tower, straight out of Mordor. The keynote of all this perpetual if seemingly futile motion is provided by a sign, glimpsed early in the film through the window of an office building and positioned over the shoulder of a guy wolfing down a sandwich at his computer station, that reads, "Your motor is still running, but the warranty has expired." (An ostinato of heavy automobile traffic, flashing or rumbling through nearly every shot, carries the idea forward.) The inherent and intentional tedium of these proceedings - each of whose images, it must be said, is a miracle of lighting and composition - is occasionally relieved, to intense dramatic effect, by a too-close-for-comfort medium shot of its human subjects, or when one or more of those discreetly observed toilers suddenly turns toward the camera, shattering our illusion of keeping a safe distance"
Eisenberg’s films defy categorization. While his work certainly falls into the category of avant-garde cinema, his films also engage with the traditions of nonfiction film, and The Unstable Object makes clear references to the old industrial film genre. The film documents the different stages of production in each factory, just as classic industrial films break industrial production down into discrete parts. Eisenberg’s film also presents laborers without naming them, just as in a classic industrial film. Yet the film is deeply attentive to the workers it depicts, unlike traditional industrial films that focus on commodities rather than workers. And more than anything, it is the film’s careful three-part structure that transcends the industrial film formula to become a much more complicated and less celebratory depiction of labor. The film is carefully attentive to sound, for example, moving from a subdued sound presence in the first part to an increase in volume in the second part, until the sound becomes a loud din at the end of the third part as workers pound cymbals into shape. The sync-sound was recorded entirely on location, with the exception of three moments in which spare piano tones announce the start of each new section. This kind of meticulous detail is certainly absent from the classical industrial film tradition, which was more concerned with use-value than aesthetic form. Although The Unstable Object bears traces of that tradition of “useful cinema” – along with its careful attention to style, it does in fact document how things are made – this is in fact no ordinary industrial film, but a magisterial statement about the contemporary experience of labor.” - Jennifer Peterson, “Workers Leaving The Factory”