Aided by cinematographer Janusz Kaminski and editor Michael Kahn, along with a top-notch crew of production designers, makeup artists, and sound technicians, Spielberg abandons his old flourishes (the ubiquitous crane shot, the overbearing score, the too-clever mise-en-scène) and through simplicity of camerawork and editing serves up a turbulent, seemingly unstable piece of cinema.
It's difficult to believe that this is the same Spielberg who made the gaudy, papier-mâché Hook, or turned Empire of the Sun into a ludicrously overproduced behemoth, or even made all those other films (excepting Private Ryan, which is just as mature and direct as List). Instead of aping David Lean and the latter-day William Wyler, Spielberg has filmed List in the style of Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers, Carol Reed's The Third Man, and John Frankenheimer's The Train, among others. Kaminski's restless and hyperrealistic camera draws us into the tumultuous, terrifying center of the action. In this way it is a very different kind of visual spectacle, but nonetheless a breathtaking one.
There are other technical facets worthy of praise: the frequent and very effective use of parallel montage (following Schindler and Amon Goeth during their morning routine, for one example) and Eisenstein's "montage by attraction" (the juxtaposition of the candle and the smokestack at the beginning), the wide assortment of vivid imagery, John Williams' brilliant and uncharacteristic score, which at once suggests a gypsy caravan and a violent storm, and a surfeit of ingeniously arranged (but not obtrusively clever) scenes -- the use of color to follow a little girl in her red coat has by now achieved the stature of legendary.