In explaining his choice, Roger Ebert wrote on his blog:
It is often voted the greatest film ever made, but I imagine everyone in the theater will have seen it before. So why show it? Two reasons: (1) More than most films, it benefits from additional viewings. And (2) several years ago, when I could still speak and all of my troubles were in the future, I recorded a commentary track for the Warner Bros. DVD. It was named by Variety's Video Premiere edition as the best commentary track of the year.
It occurred to me that playing the commentary track might be a way to sneak my speaking voice back into Ebertfest. In the early years of the festival, one of my great joys was to participate in the onstage discussions after each film. These days I love the sessions led by our guest moderators. But indulge me and allow my voice to be heard one more time in the Virginia.
Using the scene-by-scene technique, I've often gone through "Kane" and other films with an audience. The ground rules are simple: We show the film. When anyone in the room sees something they want to discuss, they call out "Stop!" and we freeze the frame and discuss it, sometimes nudging the film forward or back one frame at a time. In the early days, we did this on 16mm. Then laserdiscs. Then DVDs. Now we have the new Blu-ray 70th anniversary edition. I make no claims to be a distinguished expert on "Kane," but when you look at a film with thousands of eyes joining you, it's likely that sooner or later you'll have discussed just about everything discussable.