filename would be closed when it falls out of scope. That normally would be the end of the method.
Yes, it’s better to use
Once you have a file object, you perform all file I/O by calling methods of this object. […] When you are done with the file, you should finish by calling the
closemethod on the object, to close the connection to the file:
In short scripts, people often omit this step, as Python automatically closes the file when a file object is reclaimed during garbage collection (which in mainstream Python means the file is closed just about at once, although other important Python implementations, such as Jython and IronPython, have other, more relaxed garbage collection strategies). Nevertheless, it is good programming practice to close your files as soon as possible, and it is especially a good idea in larger programs, which otherwise may be at more risk of having excessive numbers of uselessly open files lying about. Note that
finallyis particularly well suited to ensuing that a file gets closed, even when a function terminates due to an uncaught exception.
Python Cookbook, Page 59.